UN-backed conference in Bologna tackles racism in European cities

18 September 2008

A United Nations-backed conference to fight racism and discrimination in the everyday lives of people living in European cities starts in Bologna today in partnership with the European Coalition of Cities against Racism and FC Barcelona.

The three-day meeting, organized by the City of Bologna, the European Coalition and UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), aims to provide participants with opportunities to formulate recommendations to fight racism encountered in daily life.

After the mayor of Bologna opens the conference, which is entitled “DiverCity: European Cities for an Inclusive Society”, a round-table discussion will be held focusing on how mayors can identify the challenges posed by racism and develop strategies to rid their municipalities of the scourge.

Conference participants will also hear debates on issues revolving around Muslim communities in Europe and discrimination, as well as the intolerance faced by Sinti and Roma communities and the implementation of a 10-point action plan to combat racism.

One of the working groups, Youth Voices against Racism, will also use the conference to develop their project providing practical suggestions for fighting discrimination in sport, through physical and sports education, and in partnership with the European Parliament.

The Coalition of Cities against Racism was launched by UNESCO in 2004 forming a network to share experiences and join forces in the fight against racism, discrimination and xenophobia. Coalitions have been established in all the world’s regions to address the specific characteristics of racism in their areas.

The European Coalition of Cities against Racism, which has 80 member cities in 17 countries, was the first such regional coalition.

 

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