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United Nations Archives and Records Management Section Anti-Apartheid Movement Archives United States
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United Nations

The UN is an international organisation that aims to facilitate cooperation in international law, security, economic development, social progress, human rights and achieving world peace. It was founded in 1945 and replaced the League of Nations. It has been concerned with the issue of racial discrimination since its beginning and racism became an important item on the United Nations agenda after African nations attained independence and after the Sharpeville massacre in South Africa in 1960. The Assembly adopted the Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (1963), which led to the International Convention in 1965. It proclaimed the International Year for Action to Combat Racial Discrimination in 1971 and the three Decades for Action to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination in 1973. Besides the specialised agencies on apartheid, several other agencies of the UN were also involved in anti-apartheid and solidarity activities.