The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is observed annually on 21 March. To mark the occasion, on 21st March 1960, when police opened fire and killed 69 people who were at a peaceful demonstration against Apartheid in Sharpeville, South Africa. Proclaiming the day in 1966, the United Nations General Assembly called on the international community to redouble its efforts to eliminate all forms of racial discrimination, and In 1966 the United Nations declared the first Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination to commemorate the protesters who had been killed. This year, celebrations will be marked by two major events in the framework of the International Coalition of Cities against Racism, 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.
In North America, the Canadian Coalition of Municipalities Against Racism and Discrimination (CCMARD) has officially launched its “Toolkit for Municipalities, Organizations and Citizens”, which provides practical information to support the work of municipalities and their partners in strengthening their local initiatives and policies against racism and discrimination. In Asia, the Coalition of Cities against Discrimination in Asia and the Pacific will hold an International Conference under the theme “Creative Cities for Glocal (Global + Local) Security and Peace”, during the World Human Rights Cities Forum in Gwangju (Republic of Korea) in May.