The Origins

3The Origins2

EAFORD is an independent, non-governmental, international organization dedicated to upholding and promoting the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, which was adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1963 and ratified into law in January 1965. This instrument of international law and others, including the U.N. Declaration on the Elimination of All forms of Racial Discrimination (1965), constitute an important component of the international efforts following the tragedies of World War II to combat racism as it exists in institutionalized form and practice. Such institutionalized forms of discrimination remain a significant element in cases of protracted civil and international conflict. Attesting to the centrality of the issue of racial discrimination in international consensus, the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination has received the largest ratification by Member States of any convention adopted by the community of nations. Recognizing the authority and importance of the international legal statues regarding racial discrimination in seeking solutions to conflict, EAFORD derives both its name and its inspiration from the International Convention. Consequently, EAFORD was founded as an independent organization dedicated to advancing the work of the United Nations, which seeks to eliminate racism and racial discrimination as an essential step toward achieving world order and peace. EAFORD was established in1976 by an international symposium, convened in response to controversy surrounding U.N. Resolution 3379, which determined that Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination. The international symposium on Zionism and Racism was attended by some 500 participants from 80 countries. The founding of EAFORD was then urged by the call for some continuing international, non-governmental effort to advance understanding of international law and world consensus on the question of racism and to further the elimination of all forms of racial discrimination. Thus, EAFORD has taken as its mandate to conduct, support and publish scholarly research on racism and conflict. In particular, EAFORD investigates racism as it relates to the Palestine conflict, South Africa and the conditions of indigenous peoples in general. Having established its international secretariat in London in 1979, EAFORD has also maintained an office in Geneva since 1983, in order to provide for more effective contacts with the human rights and decolonization work of the U.N. and other non-government organizations there. In 1986, the Organization transferred its international secretariat to Geneva and provided for the establishment of EAFORD (USA) in Washington, D.C., which coordinated with U.N. activities in New York and with the work of other non-governmental organizations in North America.