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Intro: Institutional Racism
01 Race and Racism                                        x
02 Citizenship Rights                                       x
03 Justice                                       x
04 Basic Needs                                       x
05 Intersectionality                                        x
06 Worldwide                                        x

  Web Editor:
  Vernellia R. Randall
Professor of Law
The University of Dayton
Web Editor
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Define objectives ahead of time.

  • Be well informed about the agenda and the issues of the meeting.

Develop your strategy for getting to the meeting.

  • Decide how many representatives your organization would like to send.
  • Decide who has the relevant interests, skills (including language skills) and experience (including lobbying experience) to represent your organization effectively.
  • Start identifying and applying for funding as soon as possible. Sources may include governments, foreign ministries, private institutions, foundations and corporations.
  • Identify other NGOs in your area that are planning to participate in the meeting. Collaborate with them to raise the necessary funds to send representatives.

Obtain the necessary accreditation.

  • Inquire about accreditation procedures and requirements well in advance.
  • Apply for accreditation to the meeting as early as possible.
  • Keep current on any changes or updates regarding the accreditation process.

Collect the necessary information.

  • Collect the documentation that is made available through the Conference Secretariat.
  • Regularly check the World Conference against Racism website for updates.


  • Request Law Group publications on the World Conference: Report on the Bellagio Consultation and Combating Racism Together: A Guide to the UN World Conference Against Racism.
  • Regularly check the International Human Rights Law Group website ( and

    other NGO websites on the World Conference for updates.

    • Subscribe to the listserve of the NGO Liaison for the World Conference, Laurie S. Wiseberg (

Start building coalitions with other NGOs.

  • Contact other NGOs in your area, country and region about their priorities and preparations for the meeting.
  • Collaborate with NGOs that are working on similar issues, including NGOs that will not be able to send representatives to the meeting. Joint preparations can help generate political momentum, add impact to your statements, and avoid unnecessary duplication of work.
  • Be aware that actually attending the meeting is only one way to influence the outcome of the meeting. The networks and coalitions you build at this stage will be very useful to your work before, during and after the meeting.

Develop your strategy for influencing the meeting.

  • Collect information, data, case studies, research and other materials on the issues that are important to your organization and that you wish to highlight at the meeting.
  • Prepare position papers that clearly state your organizationís views and proposals for action by governments and the UN system. The position papers should be brief and well written.
  • Review draft documents to be debated at the meeting and prepare clear language alternatives or statements you would like to have included in the documents.
  • Circulate your position papers and your proposals for specific language to relevant government representatives and to the Conference Secretariat.
  • Circulate your position papers and your proposals for specific language to other NGOs both within and outside your area, country and region.
  • Use the media to publicize your organizationís work, views and preparations for the meeting. Writing press releases, making contacts with journalists, and undertaking other media and outreach activities can help mobilize public support and government attention to your positions.

Lobby Governments

  • Identify government delegates who are sympathetic to your views and issues and are willing to work collaboratively.
  • Also be sure to identify and interact with delegates whose views vary from yours, because (a) the discussions may help you refine your own arguments, and (b) your efforts to educate and persuade may eventually succeed.
  • Work in solidarity with other NGOs so that you can mutually support each otherís agenda, proposals and positions.
  • Carefully follow the statements made and positions taken by your government and other delegations, particularly with respect to the draft documents.



Provide accurate and timely information.

  • Regularly update information posted on your website.
  • Consider posting draft documents on your website.
  • Consider establishing an information liaison officer.

Provide simultaneous translation.

  • Simultaneous translation in the major languages being used by the participants is crucial to allow for a genuine dialogue among the different participants.
  • The documents of the NGO Forum should be available in different languages at the same time.

Selection of the location and facilities.

  • The building for the NGO Forum should be the same as that of the government meeting, or at the very least, a building nearby.
  • Arrangements should be made to provide NGOs with access to basic office facilities, including computers, printers, copiers and access to the Internet.

Define the format of the NGO Forum.

  • The format should allow for a genuine cross-regional dialogue.
  • The NGO Forum should have both defined activities and space for informal meetings.

Select a strong and representative national and international convening committee.

  • There should be sub-regional, thematic and gender diversity on the committee.
  • Scholarships should be made available to provide timely support to under-resourced organizations and groups.
  • Accreditation to the NGO Forum and government meeting should be given at the same time that a scholarship is awarded.



Facilitate the participation of NGOs in the World Conference.

  • Allow NGOs to make oral interventions in the drafting committee.
  • Facilitate NGOsí access to all the official documents.
  • Facilitate NGOsí access to rooms where the official meetings are taking place.
  • Hold regularly briefings before, during and after the Conference in which NGOs can interact with government delegates from their country.
  • Support the efforts of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to raise funds for NGOs to participate in the World Conference
  • Increase contributions to the voluntary fund for the World Conference.

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Always Under Construction!

Copyright @ 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001. Vernellia R. Randall
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Thanks to Derrick Bell and his pioneer work: 
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