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An international coalition of cities against racism launched at the Nantes World Forum on Human Rights
UNESCO launched an international coalition of cities against racism and discrimination at the 3rd World Forum on Human Rights in Nantes (France) which takes place from 30 June to 3 July. The agreement on the coalition was signed on 30 June, during the Forum’s opening ceremony, by Pierre Sané, UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Social and Human Sciences, and representatives of the 6 regional coalitions of cities against racism and discrimination.
An international coalition of cities against racism launched at the Nantes World Forum on Human RightsThe international coalition brings together the world’s regional coalitions launched by UNESCO since 2004. Considering cities as places where people from various backgrounds come together, and local authorities as privileged actors to fight racism and discrimination, the Organization called on municipalities in each region to create networks of cities interested in sharing experiences to improve their policies to fight discrimination and promote diversity, mutual respect and dialogue. Each regional coalition implements its own ten-point action plan - covering areas of competence of city authorities such as education, housing, employment and cultural activities - to tackle discrimination specific to its region. In addition, the international coalition invites outside municipalities to benefit from its platform.

On 30 June, UNESCO organized a round table with representatives from the regional coalitions in Africa (City of Durban, South Africa), the Arab region (City of Casablanca, Morocco), Asia and the Pacific (City of Suva, Fiji), North America (City of Toronto, Canada), Europe (City of Nuremberg, Germany) and Latin America and the Caribbean (City of Montevideo, Uruguay). They discussed regional challenges cities have to address when they deal with racism and discrimination, concrete municipal action to implement the regional Action Plans, and obstacles they face during the process.

Initiated in 2004 by UNESCO, the World Forum on Human Rights brought together 1200 participants from 70 countries in 2006. This year’s edition is dedicated to the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It offers an opportunity for all human rights actors - political leaders, academics and international experts, representatives of international organisations and civil society - to examine issues linked to the current status of the Declaration, the place of human rights within the context of globalization as well as citizen intervention in the human rights issue. Some 3300 participants from 80 countries are expected.

Organised by the permanent international secretariat Human Rights and Local Governments, the third forum takes place at the International Convention Centre of Nantes Métropole.

Contact: Kornelia Guse, k.guse@unesco.org.

Photo: © Ninja Mom

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