Briefing of Mr. Miguel Moratinos,
the High Representative for UNAOC
at the Quarterly Briefing of the Global Compact Coordination Committee
to Member States
New York – 21 May, 2020
Excellencies & Distinguished Delegates,
I would like to thank His Excellency Under-Secretary-General Vladimir Voronkov, Office of Counter Terrorism (UNOCT) for inviting me to participate in this meeting.
I would have thought that in the first quarterly briefing to Member States, we will be elaborating on the progress made in many projects that we have launched jointly at the end of last year and early this year. However, these are unusual times that obliged us to hit the pause button then reset.
The threat that this pandemic poses to international peace and security is no less serious than the threat posed by terrorism. As such , we must perceive it as a global human crisis of epic proportions not merely as a global health crisis.
While we have been telecommuting like everyone else to ensure the safety of well-being of staff, we wanted to also ensure business continuity and visibility of our work.
This is briefly a summary of our activities in 3 areas: advocacy, planned projects and communications:
- We share the concerns of the Secretary-General about the rise in populist rhetoric, stigma, xenophobia targeting individuals and groups wrongfully vilified and perceived to be associated with the Coronavirus across the globe, I issued with the Special Adviser for the Prevention of Genocide, Mr. Adama Dieng, a Joint call for Solidarity, Compassion and Unity in the face of the global pandemic. , The fragmented global responses associated with a rise in ethno-nationalism and hate speech targeting those communities plays into the hands of extremists and radical groups who are seeking to exploit the eroding trust in leadership and feed on people’s vulnerability to serve their own ends.
- We also recognize that an all-of-society approach to address this pandemic that includes all stakeholders is imperative. In the Secretary-General’s socio-economic report he referred to the role of religious leaders and faith based organizations in addressing the challenges of the COVID19 pandemic. We also know from previous public health crises – from HIV/AIDS to Ebola – that the actions of faith leaders has a mobilizing capacity influencing people’s values, attitudes, behaviours, and actions. In this context, we are working on a Global Pledge for Action exploring with faith actors results and action oriented Plan in support to the response and recovery strategies out forward by the UN different entities. Together with Mr. Adama Dieng and Ms. Michelle Bachelet we will convene closed meeting with faith-based organizations and faith actors on May 28.
B. Planned Joint Projects with UNOCT , UNCCT and UNESCO:
Due to the pandemic we had to do few modifications in terms of scheduling :
- “Intercultural dialogue and socio-emotional competencies for peacebuilding” (a Videogames Project) with UNESCO and UNCCT: this 1 year-project encountered no modifications due to COVID-19 yet. On May 30 the call for applications will be launched. Face-to-face hackhaton in which participants develop a youth-led practical guidance on using game-based methodologies and the blueprint of a video game for peacebuilding is planned to take place from August 30 until September 10, 2020. As a Plan B : the face-to-face workshop might be pushed to November 2020, then possibly January 2021. We keep monitoring the situation.
- “Global Programme on Security of Major Sporting Events, and Promotion of Sport and its Values as a Tool to Prevent Violent Extremism” with UNOCT, UNICRI and ICSS: This programme was launched last February by USG Voronkov. UNAOC with the other partners aim to harness the soft power of sports as a social equalizer to complement the security governance component of the program. Due to COVID-19 some of the face-to-face activities would be re-scheduled while moving forward on the timeline online activities.
- “#YouthWagingPeace Phase II: The Whole Community Approach to Prevention of Violent Extremism through Education” with UNESCO and Mahatma Ghandi Institute of Education, Peace and Sustainable Development implemented as planned, only that participants are working to convert their PVE projects into online initiatives
- “Peer-to-peer capacity-building training Between young religious leaders and young media makers” in collaboration with UNCCT/UNOCT. This 12-month project was initially planned to begin in April 2020 with a face-to-face phase in August 2020. However, due to COVID-19 UNAOC and UNCCT/UNOCT have agreed to postpone the beginning of the project to September 2020 and the face-to-face phase to January 2021. No change in the format nor planned activities is anticipated for now.
I would also like to briefly refer to the status of the implementation of the UN Plan of Action to safeguard religious sites, developed by my Office. The launching of the global communications campaign, foreseen in March 2020, had to be postponed due to the pandemic. Once access to religious sites around the world is permitted again, we will identify an appropriate time to launch the campaign.
The implementation of the mapping of religious sites will start shortly with the aim to capture their universality and to contribute to fostering respect and understanding of their profound significance.
- We re-purposed our website and launched a brand-new microsite featuring important UN statements related to the current health crisis, along with stories of solidarity and compassion from its global community of alumni and programme participants around the theme and hashtag #OneHumanity.
Concluding, I would like to re-iterate that UNAOC is very proud of its partnership with UNOCT and other entities and we very much look forward to the full and successful implementation of these projects.