Closing Remarks by
Mr. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser
The High Representative for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations
At the UNAOC Group of Friends Meeting
4 June 2015
Members of the Media
Ladies and Gentlemen,
We have heard interesting ideas from our keynote speaker Ms. Cristina Gallach. We have also heard from the distinguished representatives of the Member States about their perspective on the role of the media in building bridges of understanding and providing a counter-narrative for violent extremism.
I believe we all agree that media has the power to serve as a bridge between cultures and societies. Media informs, educates and entertains viewers and readers. Yet political control and market forces, often obstruct the production of quality news that is balanced and objective.
Furthermore, the digital revolution that has taken our world by a storm has transformed the way we transmit and receive information. We have seen how social media, smart phones and satellite television as new media platforms have dramatically changed global media landscape.
It was pointed out that these changes come with benefits and also new challenges.
We see how radical groups have hijacked these new media platforms and used it as an advocacy tool for their extremist ideologies, and inciting violence and hatred. In doing so, they have assaulted not only individuals, but also global values representing the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
That being said, our next goal should be winning the battle of ideas.
In this context, we mentioned the legal instruments such as article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). Allow me to remind you also of Article 20 of the same covenant states that “any propaganda for war” and “any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence shall be prohibited by law.
In few words before I conclude my closing remarks, I would like to brief you on what UNAOC is doing to address this issue:
UNAOC is actively working on developing new and innovative initiatives in the key areas of Media and Migration. Current themes of interest include the following: Hate Speech and the Role of the Media in changing perceptions of certain migrant communities. The use of technology in migration reporting and the impact of a multi-disciplinary approach to this type of journalism through active collaboration between journalists, tech professionals and community members. Youth and the positive use of social media.
As we pursue our efforts in these areas, we are actively looking for more partners and collaborators on these important topics.
In conclusion, I would like to thank you all again for your interventions and input.