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Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
Mounting international concern over racial discrimination led the United Nations General Assembly, in 1963, to take the formal step of adopting the Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, A/RES/1904.
In 1965, the General Assembly provided the world community with a legal instrument by adopting the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. The Convention specifies the measures that States agree to undertake, once they have become parties by ratifying or acceding to it, to eliminate racial discrimination.
The Convention also established the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD), which was the first body created by the United Nations to monitor and review actions by States to fulfil their obligations under a specific human rights agreement.
The Convention came into force in 1969 after 27 States had ratified or acceded to it.
The convention makes four principal points:
Under the Convention, States parties pledge:
A key feature of the Convention is the pledge by all States parties to act in the areas of teaching, education, culture and information to combat prejudice and promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among nations and racial or ethnic groups.