The International Coalition of Inclusive and Sustainable Cities − ICCAR 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 ».
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.