The European Coalition of Cities against Racism is an initiative launched by UNESCO in 2004 to establish a network of cities interested in sharing experiences in order to improve their policies to fight racism, discrimination and xenophobia.
The international conventions, recommendations and 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 all the actors on the ground, including the targets of discriminations, to make sure that those international and national instruments are applied and respond to concrete problems. In times of growing globalisation and urbanisation, the municipalities are a key factor in ensuring that all their citizens, regardless of their nationality, ethnic, cultural, religious or social origin, can live in dignity, security and justice. To this aim UNESCO decided to establish an "International Coalition of Cities against Racism", an initiative which is expressly supported by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the world's largest organisation of municipalities, United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG).
On December 10th 2004, the "European Coalition of Cities against Racism" was established in Nuremberg, and a "Ten-Point-Plan of Action" was adopted. In order to take into account the special conditions and priorities of different regions of the world, further regional coalitions have been established in the two following years and worked out their own action plans.