09/07/2016 04:21 EDT | Updated 09/07/2016 04:21 EDT

Edmonton Joins United Nations Initiative To Make Cities Safe For Women

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Edmonton is the second city to join a United Nations initiative to make cities safer for women.

Mayor Don Iveson has announced Edmonton will partner with the province, women's groups and other organizations to try to address and prevent sexual violence.

He says the city is taking action so women and girls feel safe and live free of violence.

Edmonton joins Winnipeg and more than 20 other cities around the world, including New Delhi, Cairo and Kigali, Rwanda.

The UN program — launched in 2010 — has led to the inclusion of women's safety audits in urban planning in some of the cities and the banning of sexual harassment in public places in others.

Alberta's Status of Women Minister Stephanie McLean says the global partnership will help allow women to enjoy public spaces without fear of sexual harassment or assault.

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, executive director of UN Women, congratulated Edmonton on joining the initiative.

"By doing this work, you are making sure that we can generate best practices that can be shared with the 24 cities in the world that are part of this UN Women Global Flagship Initiative,'' she said in a statement.

The city says it will name a liaison who will co-ordinate efforts with the provincial government and the UN.