The International Coalition of Cities Against Racism is an initiative launched by UNESCO in 2004 and acts as umbrella organisation of the world’s regional Coalitions of Cities Against Racism.
Considering cities as places where people from various backgrounds come together, and local authorities as key contributors to fight racism and discrimination, the ICCAR 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-points action plan - covering areas of competence of city authorities such as education, housing, employment and cultural activities - to tackle discrimination specific to its region.
On June 30th 2008, UNESCO organised a meeting with representatives from the regional coalitions of 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 established the International Coalition of Cities Against Racism and adopted the "Nantes Declaration".
Current Status of the Regional Coalitions:
- Africa: The African Coalition of Cities against Racism and Discrimination was 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: The Coalition of Cities against Discrimination in Asia and the Pacific, was 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.
- Europe: The European Coalition of Cities against Racism (ECCAR) was launched in December 2004 in Nuremberg, Germany.
- Latin America and the Caribbean: The Coalition of Latin American and Caribbean Cities against Racism launched in October 2006, in Montevideo, Uruguay.
- North America: The Canadian Coalition of Municipalities against Racism and Discrimination (CMARD) has been officially launched in Calgary (Alberta) in 2007.
- United States of America: U.S. Coalition of Cities against Racism and Discrimination, launched on 12 September 2013.