New York, 30 June 2021 – The event on Prevention and the Misuse of New Communication Platforms was held virtually and broadcast live on UNWebTV as part of the second CounterTerrorism Week at the United Nations. The event was co-organized by the Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the United Nations and the United Nations CounterTerrorism Centre (UNCCT) of the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT). It was co-sponsored by the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC), and the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED).
This session featured a dialogue with the UN senior officials and Member States, experts on preventing and countering violent extremism (PCVE) and the technology sector on terrorist exploitation of online spaces, particularly new communications platforms. Participants broached the challenge of terrorist strategic communications on gaming platforms and new social media. The event also included young leaders who spoke of their experiences countering terrorist and extremist narratives on online spaces, including on new platforms.
The event also launched the website of the EDIN: “Empowering Dialogue and Interfaith Networks” project. A pilot initiative developed by UNAOC and UNOCT/UNCCT, EDIN aims to provide young religious leaders, representatives of faith-based organizations and young media makers with a peer-to-peer learning space and build their capacity to prevent sectarian violence and counter terrorist narratives online, using efficient communication tools and strategies to reach their communities.
The virtual event was attended by representatives from Member States, international and regional organizations, United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Compact entities, and EDIN project participants.
H.E. Ambassador Abdullah Y. Al-Mouallimi, Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the United Nations, emphasized that, “The best way of countering terrorism and messages of hatred and violence is by spreading the message of peace and love and the call for coexistence of different religions and beliefs.”
Mr. Vladimir Voronkov, Under-Secretary-General for Counter-Terrorism highlighted that “We have seen terrorists and violent extremists use social media, messaging and online gaming platforms to influence, communicate with and recruit young people and other vulnerable audiences online. Terrorists and violent extremists are exploiting existing vulnerabilities, seeking to foment divisions and spread propaganda through social polarization, as well as
political and cultural manipulation.”
Noting a rise in hate speech, sectarian violence, harmful stereotypes, extremism and religious hatred globally, the High Representative for UNAOC, Under-Secretary-General Mr. Miguel Ángel Moratinos, stated: “The campaigns implemented by EDIN participants take the social media users on a journey to peaceful coexistence and interfaith harmony, fulfilling UNAOC’s motto, ‘Many Cultures. One Humanity’.”
Assistant Secretary-General Michèle Coninsx, Executive Director of CTED, stated “finding the most effective human rights-compliant way to prevent and counter terrorist messaging is an essential part of a comprehensive approach to overcoming the global terrorist threat.”
For more information:
Ms. Laurence Gerard (firstname.lastname@example.org), Public Information Officer, UNOCT
Ms. Nihal Saad (email@example.com), Chief of Cabinet and Spokesperson for the High Representative, UNAOC