WHO to Name Cheonan Int'l Safe City
Cheonan City, South Chungcheong Province, has recently become the subject of the World Health Organization (WHO) as a WHO team visited the city to conduct a survey on the city's safety and confirmed Cheonan as an International Safe City.
Mayor Song Moo-yong said the team gave Cheonan high marks for following their survey on nine spots in the city where safe city programs are being promoted. The mayor said the high marks were the results of close networking and infrastructure among various organizations in the city including the Education Authority, police, Korea Red Cross, Korea Industrial Safety Corp., Korea Gas Corp., Korea Electricity Safety Corp. and the Mental Health Center of Cheonan.
Cheonan will get the official confirmation as an International Safe City in October, provided that the city successfully manages to operate six WHO standard conditions, as have a number of Korean cities including Suwon, Jeju City, Wonju and the Songpa Ward in Seoul.
Currently, 150 cities in 26 countries have been confirmed as International Safe Cities by the WHO, whose idea first emerged at the first Accident and Damage Prevention Academic Meeting held in Stockholm in 1989. It said, "All men have the equal right to enjoy healthy and safe lives," which was included in the declaration. The International Safe City title means that the city operates safety programs. Cheonan is a good example of such a city as it has very low rate of natural disasters and calamities compared to other cities in the world.
In the past several years, Cheonan launched a council to establish a safe city consisting of local organizations and concluded a business agreement with the International Safe City Support Center in October 2007. The council set up a mid-and-long-term business plan to become "Cheonan Safe City" in January 2008. The city also hosted four forums on safe cities and an international meeting and managed safe city confirmation programs. The "Cheonan and Asan Integrated Control Center," which opened in May 2007, reduced the crime rates in those two cities. nw
Cheonan Mayor Song Moo-yong, 2nd R, stands in line with WHO insepctors.