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UNESCO Establishes "Coalition of Cities against Racism and Discrimination in Asia"

      At the Regional Conference of Cities for an Inclusive Urban Society, organized on 3-4 August 2006 in Bangkok (Thailand) by UNESCO and the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, UNESCO established the "Coalition of Cities against Racism and Discrimination in Asia and the Pacific".
      The representatives of the participating cities discussed and adopted the draft Declaration and Ten-Point Commitment, prepared by the expert preparation meeting which had also been held in Bangkok in October 2005. Six of the participating cities, namely Bangkok, Phnom Penh (Cambodia), Suva (Fiji), Makati (Philippines), Kurunegala and Matale (Sri Lanka), joined the Coalition by signing the Statement of Intent. In cooperation with UNESCO, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration will serve as the lead city of the Coalition.
      After obtaining consent and approval of respective parliaments on the purposes of the Ten-Point Commitment, the signatory cities will take a second step by signing the Act of Accession and Commitment, indicating specific measures for the implementation of their commitments.
      The Ten-Point Commitment include "Assessing Racism and Discrimination and Monitoring Municipal Policies", "Providing political leadership at the city and community levels to address issues of Discrimination and Exclusion", "Promoting an Inclusive Society", "Strengthening Support for the Victims of Racism and Discrimination", "Challenging Racism and Discrimination Through Education" and "Promoting Cultural Diversity".
      Sakai, which had participated in the Conference from Japan, is now considering joining the Coalition. The Secretary General of the United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) - Asia Pacific Regional Section (Jakarta, Indonesia) also participated in the Conference, indicating the intention to join the Coalition as the Section and to call on the member cities to follow its example.
      As part of the follow-up to the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, organized in 2001 by the United Nations in Durban (South Africa), UNESCO has promoted the establishment of coalition of cities in six regions: Europe, Asia-Pacific, North America, Latin America and the Caribbean, Arab States and Africa. It seeks to establish an International Coalition of Cities against Racism in 2007.
      In Europe, the European Coalition of Cities against Racism was already formed in December 2004, of which the lead city is Nuremburg (Germany). The African Coalition is to be founded in September 2006 in Nairobi (Kenya), followed by the establishment of the Latin America and the Caribbean Coalition in October 2006 in Montevideo (Uruguay).

For more information, see:
· Foundation of the Coalition of Cities against Racism and Discrimination in Asia and the Pacific
· International Coalition of Cities against Racism (UNESCO)
· United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) - Asia Pacific Regional Section (English)
· HURIGHTS OSAKA Database on International Human Rights: "Follow-up to Durban 2001" (Japanese)


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