International Coalition of Cities against Racism
The International Coalition of Cities against Racism is an initiative launched by UNESCO in March 2004 to establish a network of cities interested in sharing experiences in order to improve their policies to fight racism, discrimination, xenophobia and exclusion.
The international conventions, recommendations or declarations elaborated at the upstream level need to be ratified and implemented by the States. At the same time, it is extremely important to involve actors on the ground including the targets of discriminations, to make sure that those instruments are applied to respond to concrete problems. UNESCO chose cities as the privileged space to link upstream and downstream actions. The role of city authorities as policy-makers at the local level, is considered here as the key to create dynamic synergies.
The ultimate objective is to involve the interested cities in a common struggle against racism through an international coalition. In order to take into account the specificities and priorities of each region of the world, regional coalitions are being created with their respective programme of action in Africa, Arab Region, Asia and the Pacific, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, and North America. Under the coordination of a “Lead City” which is to be identified, each regional coalition will have its own « Ten-Point Plan of Action ».
The « Ten-Point Plan of Action » is composed of ten commitments covering the various areas of competence of city authorities such as education, housing, employment and cultural activities. It suggests in particular some examples of practical policies that city authorities might complete or develop. The signatory cities will undertake to integrate this Plan of Action in their municipal strategies and policies, and to involve the various actors within civil society in its implementation.
Current status of the Regional Coalitions
- Africa: African Coalition of Cities against Racism and Discrimination launched in September 2006 in Nairobi, Kenya.
- Arab Region: the Coalition has been officially launched at a ceremony held in Casablanca (Morocco), city designated as a "leader" of this network, on 25 June 2008.
- Asia and the Pacific: Coalition of Cities against Discrimination in Asia and the Pacific, founded in August 2006 in Bangkok, Thailand; officially launched on the occasion of the second United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) World Congress in Jeju, Korea, in October 2007.
- Canada: Canadian Coalition of Municipalities against Racism and Discrimination (CMARD) has been officially launched in Calgary (Alberta) in 2007.
- Europe: European Coalition of Cities against Racism (ECCAR) launched in December 2004 in Nuremberg, Germany. Its Office is located in the City of Potsdam.
- Latin America and the Caribbean: Coalition of Latin American and Caribbean Cities against Racism launched in October 2006, in Montevideo, Uruguay.
- United States of America: U.S. Coalition of Cities against Racism and Discrimination, launched on 12 September 2013.
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