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On this date in 1947, the NAACP issued a formal petition against racism in America to the United Nations titled "An Appeal to the World."
Eleanor Roosevelt, an active NAACP board member from 1945 to 1958, initiated the U.N.'s human rights protocol. Roy Wilkins, NAACP executive director (1955-1978), led the United States delegation to the International Conference on Human Rights in 1968.
In 2001, the NAACP applied for affiliation as a non-governmental organization (NGO). (then) NAACP President and CEO Kweisi Mfume said that the pending U.N. designation "gives the NAACP its proper standing and status for participating in international relations and with foreign delegations."
The United Nations' Committee on Organizations, a standing committee of the U.N.'s Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), approved the NAACP's application for affiliation in 2003. After receiving news of the committee's recommendation, Julian Bond said that the NAACP's interest in foreign affairs began in 1909, "especially in African affairs and throughout the diaspora. We fought for the liberation of Africa from colonialism and have fought since then to ensure that Africa received her fair share of aid and trade. NGO status formalizes an old commitment to have our voice heard wherever people of African descent are found."
The African American Desk Reference
Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
Copyright 1999 The Stonesong Press Inc. and
The New York Public Library, John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Pub.
BNET Business Network: The Crisis, March/April 2003, by Phil Petrie.