Sunday, March 21, 2010

[socialactionfoundationforequity:2262 UNESCO marks International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (21 March) with youth forum and new campaign with FC Barcelona

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UNESCO marks International Day for the Elimination of Racial
Discrimination (21 March) with youth forum and new campaign with FC

"Everyone has a role to play in ending racial discrimination, and it
is only through constant vigilance that we can hope to achieve its
demise," stressed Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, in her
message for International Day for the Elimination of Racial
Discrimination, calling on decision-makers and "citizens everywhere"
to join in UNESCO's endeavours "to make this a more racially tolerant
In 2010, the Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (21
March) takes place in the broader context of the United Nations
International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures, Ms Bokova also
noted in her message. "As lead agency for the Year, UNESCO is seeking
to bring new impetus to the search for dialogue, tolerance and peace
in our rapidly changing times," she said.

On 19 March, UNESCO and the French Federation of UNESCO
Clubs will invite young people to discuss the issue of racism and
discrimination at a symposium at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris (Room
XI, 2-5 pm).

The event's two sessions will be led by the French
associations Association Service Social Familial Migrants (ASSFAM) and
Pédagodroit. Participants will work towards a common understanding of
concepts, behaviours and existing legal frameworks and discuss
different means to combat racism and discrimination.

The opening of the photo exhibition "Avec ELLE, avec
LUI" ("With her, with him") will follow the debate (5 p.m.). Produced
by students and teachers from the Rosa Luxemburg School in
Aubervilliers (France), the show is an appeal for mutual respect and
tolerance, illustrating in 30 images the diversity of relationships
between people from different backgrounds, beyond stereotypes and

In addition, also on 19 March, UNESCO and the Spanish
soccer team F.C. Barcelona will announce the start of a joint anti-
racism campaign (see message below). It will kick off at F.C.
Barcelona's match against Osasuna on 24 March at Barcelona's Camp Nou
Stadium with messages rejecting racism. A number of activities will
follow throughout the year, including a press conference (date to be
announced) at which Barcelona players will add their voices to the
rejection of racism.

The campaign is a new initiative produced by the
partnership between UNESCO and F.C. Barcelona, signed in November
2007. The previous (2008-2009) project, "Youth Voices Against
Racism", in collaboration with the European Parliament and UNESCO's
European Coalition of Cities against Racism, involved young people
aged 15 to 18 in local policy-making and the design of anti-racism
activities. Many of the suggestions they made will be put into
practice in this new campaign.

International Day for the Elimination of Racial
Discrimination commemorates events on 21 March 1960, in Sharpeville,
South Africa, when police opened fire and killed young students
peacefully demonstrating against the apartheid "pass laws". The United
Nations proclaimed the Day in 1966. This year marks the 50th
anniversary of the Sharpeville massacre.


Joint message from Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO and Joan
Laporta i Estruch, FC Barcelona's President, on the launching of an
Anti-racism Campaign
"Youth Voices against Racism": Mobilisation of Youth to Fight Racism
in Sport


Truth resides in every human heart, and one has to search for it there, and to be guided by truth as one sees it. But no one has a right to coerce others to act according to his own view of truth. - Mohandas Gandhi

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