» Arab cities united against racism, discrimination, xenophobia and intolerance
21.04.2017 - Social and Human Sciences Sector

Arab cities united against racism, discrimination, xenophobia and intolerance

Flickr / Dan

Members of the Coalition of Arab Cities against Racism, Discrimination, Xenophobia and Intolerance gathered during a planning workshop focusing on "Facing Social Transformations, Inclusive and Sustainable Cities" held in Tunis, Tunisia, from 6 to 7 April 2017. With the aim to unite Arab Cities in a complex global context, member cities of the Coalition and other interested cities exchanged good practices of urban policies aimed at managing diversity and preventing and combating discrimination.

In the Tunis Declaration which was adopted, participants affirmed their commitment to work and collaborate on the following priority areas:

  • Conducting territorial diagnosis and data collection on racism, discrimination, xenophobia and intolerance issues in our cities;
  • Undertaking awareness-raising and sensitization initiatives related to the mandate of the Coalition, to the benefit of our constituency and administration; and
  • Enhancing collaboration with the civil society actors for joint initiatives.

These commitments are part of a one-year revitalization plan of the Coalition of Arab Cities against Racism, Discrimination, Xenophobia and Intolerance, which will be jointly assessed at the next regional meeting in April 2018. Participants also agreed to revisit the terms of governance of the Coalition, and establish a roadmap to ensure its impact and sustainability.

Organized in collaboration with the Arab Institute for Human Rights (AIHR) in Tunis, the meeting gathered around 50 participants, including 14 cities, 4 mayors (Essaouira, Sayada, Sharm el-Sheik and Tripoli) and several representatives of NGOs and international organizations, including the International Organization for Migration (IOM), National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs), the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UNWomen), United Cities and Local Governments-Africa (UCLG-A), the European Training and Research Centre for Human Rights and Democracy - ETC Graz, and the European Coalition of Cities against Racism (ECCAR), represented by the City of Nancy, France.

The Coalition of Arab Cities against Racism, Discrimination, Xenophobia and Intolerance was officially launched in 2008, in Casablanca, Morocco. Member cities collectively developed and adopted a “Ten-Point Plan of Action”.  Faced with societal phenomena which endanger social cohesion, members of the Coalition of Arab Cities have expressed the need to revitalize it. The Coalition should find new momentum and become a dynamic platform for long-term solutions in the current context of growing inequalities, social and economic marginalization, urbanization and ghettoization, emigrations and immigrations, violence and discrimination.

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