Twitter icon
Facebook icon
LinkedIn icon
RSS icon

You are here

UNESCO communication professors talk peace and conflict resolution

Unesco Most Programme - Fri, 05/12/2017 - 12:20
news_120517_pancasila.jpg Prof Andi Faisal Bakti (Middle)© UNESCO 12 May 2017Inclusive media can help create space for peace and resolving conflicts, emphasised Prof. Andi Faisal Bakti, the newly established UNESCO Chair for Communication and Sustainable Development at Indonesia’s Pancasila University.

He said this during the official launch of his Chair on 4 May, which coincided not only with the sixth edition of the Orbicom symposium but also with UNESCO’s World Press Freedom Day in Jakarta.

Prof. Bakti explained: “My Chair aims to undertake sustained research into how communication influences sustainable development, particularly given the near lack of research data on this subject in Indonesia and other parts of the developing world.”

The keynote speaker, Dr Mahathir Mohammad, former Malaysian prime minister, later took up the symposium’s theme – peace journalism and conflict resolution in the media. He referenced his country as the backdrop against which independent media had proven useful in sustaining his agenda for new economic reforms as well as racial and social harmony.

Speaking on behalf of UNESCO, Frank La Rue, UNESCO’s Assistant Director-General for Communication and Information, told the participants that UNESCO’S constitution committed the organisation to forging the defences of peace in the minds of humankind through, among other things, the free flow of ideas and information.

“That’s why we support public access to information and the safety of journalists as two key ways through which communication can reinforce the achievement of all the UN Sustainable Development Goals,” said La Rue.

He informed the gathering that UNESCO was involved in reporting global progress on how countries were implementing legislation and policies on the right to freedom of information, in addition to collecting data on the killings of journalists.

The Jakarta symposium is the latest in a series of such symposia held annually to bring together the over 30 UNESCO Chairholders in communication and 300 associate members of the Orbicom network.

Some 69 participants took part in the symposium, including faculty and students from Pancasila University as well as 21 UNESCO Chairs in communication from other countries.

Among these participants were seven UNESCO-sponsored teachers of journalism from Africa.

Categories: News

UNESCO communication professors talk peace and conflict resolution

Unesco Most Programme - Fri, 05/12/2017 - 12:20
news_120517_pancasila.jpg Prof Andi Faisal Bakti (Middle)© UNESCO 12 May 2017Inclusive media can help create space for peace and resolving conflicts, emphasised Prof. Andi Faisal Bakti, the newly established UNESCO Chair for Communication and Sustainable Development at Indonesia’s Pancasila University.

He said this during the official launch of his Chair on 4 May, which coincided not only with the sixth edition of the Orbicom symposium but also with UNESCO’s World Press Freedom Day in Jakarta.

Prof. Bakti explained: “My Chair aims to undertake sustained research into how communication influences sustainable development, particularly given the near lack of research data on this subject in Indonesia and other parts of the developing world.”

The keynote speaker, Dr Mahathir Mohammad, former Malaysian prime minister, later took up the symposium’s theme – peace journalism and conflict resolution in the media. He referenced his country as the backdrop against which independent media had proven useful in sustaining his agenda for new economic reforms as well as racial and social harmony.

Speaking on behalf of UNESCO, Frank La Rue, UNESCO’s Assistant Director-General for Communication and Information, told the participants that UNESCO’S constitution committed the organisation to forging the defences of peace in the minds of humankind through, among other things, the free flow of ideas and information.

“That’s why we support public access to information and the safety of journalists as two key ways through which communication can reinforce the achievement of all the UN Sustainable Development Goals,” said La Rue.

He informed the gathering that UNESCO was involved in reporting global progress on how countries were implementing legislation and policies on the right to freedom of information, in addition to collecting data on the killings of journalists.

The Jakarta symposium is the latest in a series of such symposia held annually to bring together the over 30 UNESCO Chairholders in communication and 300 associate members of the Orbicom network.

Some 69 participants took part in the symposium, including faculty and students from Pancasila University as well as 21 UNESCO Chairs in communication from other countries.

Among these participants were seven UNESCO-sponsored teachers of journalism from Africa.

Categories: News

Never Forget, Never Again: Director-General at Kigali Genocide Memorial

Unesco Most Programme - Thu, 05/11/2017 - 14:25
dg-kigali-genocide-memorial.jpg © UNESCO

On 10 May 2017, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova visited the Kigali Genocide Memorial in Gisozi, a site for remembrance and learning, where she lay a wreath in memory of the victims of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi of Rwanda.

The memorial was chosen by survivors as a place of dignified burial for nearly 300,000 of the victims of the genocide, during which one million women, men and children were assassinated in just over 100 days.

This is a site where survivors come to recollect and students to learn about the 1994 genocide and the importance of prevention and peacebuilding through educational programmes and tours.

Ms Bokova was taken on a guided tour of the Memorial, which documents the historical roots of the gradual dehumanization of the Tutsis, goes on to describe the planning of the genocide and its execution, the muted response of the international community, the justice and reconciliation process through the international tribunal in Arusha and the local gacaca courts, and educational programmes developed to teach about the genocide and make peace a cross-cutting theme in school curricula. The memory of the savagery is chillingly rendered through life-size photographs of children captioned with their hobbies and the manner in which they were killed, along with belongings and remains of victims, machetes and other weapons used by the killers and testimonies of survivors.   

“Here in the Kigali Genocide Memorial, I wish to pay tribute to the memory of the victims of the genocide that targeted the Tutsis of Rwanda in 1994, and to the memory of all children, men and women who perished,” said the Director-General. “I wish to express UNESCO’s commitment to stand by the people of Rwanda in its struggle for truth and justice. This is a struggle to build solidarity with and between victims of all mass atrocities, on all continents, throughout history. This is a struggle to educate, to teach about the genocide, to equip people with skills and knowledge to resist hatred and to prevent other genocides. Never forget, never again”.

During an earlier meeting on the margins of the Transform Africa Summit, she presented President Paul Kagame with UNESCO’s recent guide for policy makers on “Education about the Holocaust and Preventing Genocides”, noting also close cooperation with Rwanda on education to prevent genocide and build a culture of peace.

 

Categories: News

Never Forget, Never Again: Director-General at Kigali Genocide Memorial

Unesco Most Programme - Thu, 05/11/2017 - 14:25
dg-kigali-genocide-memorial.jpg © UNESCO

On 10 May 2017, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova visited the Kigali Genocide Memorial in Gisozi, a site for remembrance and learning, where she lay a wreath in memory of the victims of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi of Rwanda.

The memorial was chosen by survivors as a place of dignified burial for nearly 300,000 of the victims of the genocide, during which one million women, men and children were assassinated in just over 100 days.

This is a site where survivors come to recollect and students to learn about the 1994 genocide and the importance of prevention and peacebuilding through educational programmes and tours.

Ms Bokova was taken on a guided tour of the Memorial, which documents the historical roots of the gradual dehumanization of the Tutsis, goes on to describe the planning of the genocide and its execution, the muted response of the international community, the justice and reconciliation process through the international tribunal in Arusha and the local gacaca courts, and educational programmes developed to teach about the genocide and make peace a cross-cutting theme in school curricula. The memory of the savagery is chillingly rendered through life-size photographs of children captioned with their hobbies and the manner in which they were killed, along with belongings and remains of victims, machetes and other weapons used by the killers and testimonies of survivors.   

“Here in the Kigali Genocide Memorial, I wish to pay tribute to the memory of the victims of the genocide that targeted the Tutsis of Rwanda in 1994, and to the memory of all children, men and women who perished,” said the Director-General. “I wish to express UNESCO’s commitment to stand by the people of Rwanda in its struggle for truth and justice. This is a struggle to build solidarity with and between victims of all mass atrocities, on all continents, throughout history. This is a struggle to educate, to teach about the genocide, to equip people with skills and knowledge to resist hatred and to prevent other genocides. Never forget, never again”.

During an earlier meeting on the margins of the Transform Africa Summit, she presented President Paul Kagame with UNESCO’s recent guide for policy makers on “Education about the Holocaust and Preventing Genocides”, noting also close cooperation with Rwanda on education to prevent genocide and build a culture of peace.

 

Categories: News

Latin American Cartographies

Europaid - Thu, 05/11/2017 - 14:02
Categories: News

Soft Power for Smart Cities in Kigali

Unesco Most Programme - Thu, 05/11/2017 - 09:23

Smart Cities will be built through investing in people, affirmed UNESCO’s Director-General Irina Bokova at the opening plenary of the Transform Africa Summit in Kigali, Rwanda, on 10 May 2017, in the presence of President Paul Kagame and leaders from government, business and international organizations.

“Whatever technology we may have, if we don’t invest in empowering people through education and skills, in promoting creativity and diversity, we will not succeed in driving innovation and building knowledge-based societies,” she said.

The Summit, in its third edition, aims to build a knowledge-based continent through leveraging ICTs.  “With half of humanity living in cities, it is imperative for Africa to prepare for this projected expansion,” said Dr Hamadoun Touré, Executive Director of Smart Africa.  “By promoting technology in cities in Africa, we can accelerate social and economic development in our continent.”

Setting the Summit into context, President Paul Kagame stated that “Africa has fastest growing cities but even so remains the least urbanized continent. Africa is not as prosperous as it should be because our cities are too small and disconnected. This situation is changing rapidly as Africa looks to emerge as one of the planet’s centres of growth, innovation and opportunity in the generations ahead. Digital technologies must be leveraged and put into the hands of citizens to build inclusive and sustainable places to live.”

He emphasized the importance of partnerships with the private sector and bridging divides, a recurrent theme through the session. “We must deliver on technology promise to bridge rather than deepen divides – this begins with the gender digital divide. So long as women and girls are lagging behind we are not on the right track,” said President Kagame. The summit will also highlight the crucial role of women and girls in Africa’s digital transformation agenda, during a special session in which UNESCO will participate.

Recalling the multifaceted nature of SDG 11 on making cities inclusive, resilient, safe and sustainable, Ms Bokova drew attention to UNESCO’s emphasis on the role of culture and creative industries. “You cannot have inclusive cities without culture in the broadest sens, a driver for job creation and social cohesion.”

As cities expand and become increasingly diverse, she also stressed that connectivity must be matched by local content in mother tongue that children can access from the earliest age to quality higher education, referring to UNESCO’s work to encourage mobility through the Addis Convention for the Mutual Recognition of Diplomas and the promotion of open and distance learning.

Commending President Kagame for his role in championing digital inclusion, including through the Broadband Commission, Ms Bokova stated that Rwanda demonstrated political leadership and vision, a clear strategy and plan, and strong partnerships, the three critical components to drive inclusive growth. 

During a private meeting with the Director-General, President Kagame said that UNESCO’s partnership in the Broadband Commission had been instrumental in the development of the Transform Africa Summit, and expressed appreciation for the scope of the Organization’s cooperation with Rwanda.

Mr Houlin Zhao, Secretary General of the International Telecommunications Union recalled that 75% of the African population still lacks access to Internet, while the gender divide remains high. “ICTs and smart cities must provide opportunities for all  if we are to realize full potential of innovation, we need to work together to build trust and security to transform Africa,” he said.

The Summit began with a Youth Forum on “Smart Health Opportunities in Africa” during which youth innovators presented digital initiatives to improve sexual and reproductive health. These include mobile applications, a TV show, a storytelling programme, and a platform to access reliable medically approved information. “Our duty is to empower youth with life-saving information and at the same time to help them take the front seat to curb health issues affecting our communities,” said the First Lady of Rwanda, Ms Jeannette Kagame, chair of the Imbuto Foundation, founded in 2001.

“Our ultimate renewable energy is human ingenuity,” said the Director-General. “Investing in young people, in their talent is the key to building Smart Africa,” said Ms Bokova at the event.

Mr Jean-Philibert Nsengimana, Minister of Youth and ICT of Rwanda, officially launched the Africa Smart City Blueprint, a comprehensive guide to build livable, workable and sustainable cities, encompassing attention to challenges such as governance, safety, water management, transport, housing, health, education and sustainable environments.

The Summit included the participation by the President Faure Gnassingbé of Togo, Prime Minister Emmanuel Issoze-Ngondet of Gabon, Prime Minister Patrice Trovoada of Sao Tomé, as well as the Vice President of Zambia.

Categories: News

UNESCO advocates Internet Universality indicators and online freedoms at BILETA conference

Unesco Most Programme - Wed, 05/10/2017 - 16:25
news_100517_bileta.jpg Speakers: Xianhong Hu, UNESCO; Joe Cannataci, University of Malta and University of Groningen, the Netherlands; Pedro Freitas, University of Minho, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Privacy.© Alessandro Mantelero 10 May 2017

States and stakeholders are in need of a comprehensive tool to assess Internet development was UNESCO’s key message to the Annual Conference of BILETA (British and Irish Law Education and Technology Association). The event was hosted by the Law School of the University of Minho in Braga, Portugal, 20-21 April 2017

“Internet policy improvements need to be based on evidence and consensus so as to foster online human rights and sustainable development”, said UNESCO representative Xianhong Hu in her presentation on UNESCO’s ongoing project on defining Internet Universality indicators at the Annual Conference of BILETA.

In line with the Conference theme “International perspectives on emerging challenges in Law, Technology and Education”, she presented the key objectives of the project Defining Internet Universality indicators and engaged with legal experts and the law community for their inputs and partnerships. The indicators will be developed in five categories along with the Internet Universality R.O.A.M principles and will include Human Rights-based indicators, Openness indicators, Accessibility indicators, Multi-stakeholder indicators and Crosscutting indicators. She also used the opportunity to announce that the Organization had commissioned APC (Association of Progressive Communication) and its consortium to conduct the elaboration of these indicators.

“State actors invest more efforts in updating laws and regulations to align with international legal standards and empowering individuals to protect their personal data”, stated Professor Joe Cannataci, the leading author of UNESCO publication Privacy, Free Expression and Transparency.

Contributing to the elaboration and implementation of Internet Universality indicators, professor Cannataci stressed that states should encourage the use of encryption amongst citizens, improving transparency in e-governance and e-democracy and protecting online expression of journalists and social media producers.

For private sector, Professor Cannataci recommended that they foster awareness and know-how on privacy protection, take more transparency measures and conduct human rights impact assessments.

“International society need to have more co-operation at the regional and national levels in sharing good practices and preventing cyber-attacks that can violate privacy or paralyze free expression” said prof. Cannataci. He also called upon international organizations to foster digital literacy as a life skill within media and Information Literacy.

As a core implementation methodology for elaborating these indicators, UNESCO is encouraging interested entities and individuals to engage with its ongoing global consultation process, which includes a series of physical consultation events and online consultations via email (internetstudy@unesco.org) and on a dedicated website to be launched at WSIS forum in June 2017.  The project is supported by Sweden and Internet Society and the elaboration of the indicators will be finalized by June 2018.

Categories: News

UNESCO’s work is key to innovation for sustainable development

Unesco Most Programme - Wed, 05/10/2017 - 16:13
news_100517_geneva.jpg © UNESCO 10 May 2017This was the input delivered to a high-level roundtable on “Review of progress made in the implementation of World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) outcomes”, convened by the Commission on Science and Technology for Development on 8 May, in Geneva.

UNESCO’s contribution highlighted how the Organization was aligning its activity to advance information and knowledge societies under WSIS, to its role in advancing the 2030 Development Agenda.

“This alignment is very relevant to the question of unleashing innovative approaches that are essential if the SDGS are to be achieved”, said Guy Berger, director for Freedom of Expression and Media Development, UNESCO.

Without information, knowledge and communications, societies will struggle to find and assess the shortest route to the 2030 Development Agenda, he said.

Berger highlighted UNESCO’s role in monitoring SDG target 16.10.2, which counts the “number of countries that adopt and implement constitutional, statutory and/or policy guarantees for public access to information”.

UNESCO’s findings so far are that there is welcome progress, but still very much to be done, especially if guaranteed public access to information is to play an optimum part in fuelling innovation, he stated.

The Director also drew attention to 28 September, proclaimed in 2015 by Member States of UNESCO, as International Day for Universal Access to Information. “We encourage  stakeholders worldwide to be creative in taking up this day as an excellent opportunity to focus attention – such as on innovative approaches in the interests of achieving the SDGs.”

Berger explained the relevance of the UNESCO concept of Internet Universality and the related principles of Rights, Openness, Accessibility and Multistakeholder participation (ROAM) for the Internet. 

Referencing Human Rights, and specifically the right to freedom of expression, Berger stated that “controls over media which are neither necessary nor proportional in terms of international standards, constitute a significant barrier to the free flow of information and the absence of unessential constraints as are needed for innovation to flourish”.  

He continued: “Freedom of connection – in contrast to the increasingly common phenomenon of Internet cut-offs – is a sine qua non if a society wishes to guarantee the most basic enabling condition for ICT innovation for development.”

Discussing Openness, Berger said that preconditions for continued innovation were inter-operability and a strong presence of open software, open knowledge resources, and open markets that enabled the entry of new players.

Accessibility is fundamental for innovation, said the Director. “Digital divides based on affordability, inequalities in gender and language, social exclusion and other factors, serve to cut off key constituencies from the opportunities to contribute to, and benefit from, innovative approaches to development.”

He added: “When the Internet is a space where women are harassed, when minorities experience hate speech, when fake news is shared in bulk by bots and users, then it is evident that media and information literacy is needed. This empowerment is about how to recognise and counter such anti-developmental phenomena, so that cyberspace can be experienced as a place of opportunity and inspiration and not of threat and insult.”

On Multi-stakeholderism, Berger noted that “even individual innovators benefit from multi-stakeholder co-operation”.

Summing up, the Director described the ROAM principles as foundations for a development environment characterised by a permanent practice of innovation. He invited participation in UNESCO’s consultations to develop indicators to assess ROAM and power evidence-based policy-making on SDGs, including on promoting innovative approaches. 

Categories: News

UNESCO Institute for Statistics unites countries, experts and agencies to measure Education 2030

Unesco Most Programme - Wed, 05/10/2017 - 14:03
uis-measure-education-2030-typo.jpg © UNESCO

Global Alliance to Monitor Learning and the Technical Cooperation Group on the Indicators for SDG 4–Education 2030 will be meeting in Mexico and Montreal in May.

As the official data source for Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4), the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) is working with countries and partners to build consensus around the new measurement agenda. While developing the indicators, standards and tools needed to monitor progress and help countries improve the quality and use of their data as they strive to achieve their development goals.

The UIS is bringing together key actors from across the international education community through two flagship initiatives that will be meeting in May to help set the course for the measurement agenda.

The Global Alliance to Monitor Learning (GAML) will be meeting from 11-12 May in Mexico City, with the support of the Instituto Nacional para la Evaluación de la Educación. GAML is developing the standards and methodologies needed to measure learning globally, while helping countries to produce and use the information to achieve SDG 4.

The Alliance will bring together a wide range of experts and decisionmakers involved in national and cross-national learning assessment initiatives, as well as donors and civil society groups. During the May meeting, these stakeholders will help develop a series of new tools to better capture data from different types of learning assessments, as well as frameworks and guidelines to help countries evaluate and strengthen the quality of their assessment activities.

While reviewing the development work underway for each SDG 4 target, the meeting will focus specifically on progress made on Indicator 4.1.1: the percentage of children and young people achieving proficiency in reading and mathematics. By working with GAML partners, the UIS has found a solution to report this indicator in the short term, while continuing to develop an internationally-comparable methodology for medium-term reporting.  

Alliance members will also be preparing recommendations for the Technical Cooperation Group (TCG) on the Indicators for SDG 4–Education 2030, which will be meeting in Montreal from 31 May to 2 June with the support of Montreal International, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and Tourisme Montréal.

The TCG builds political consensus on the SDG 4 measurement agenda by bringing together Member States, multilateral agencies and civil society groups. The TCG has established three working groups that specifically focus on indicator development, capacity building and country reporting of data for international monitoring. The third meeting will specifically focus on their proposed strategies and work plans.

Categories: News

Baku Forum on Intercultural Dialogue calls for enhanced cooperation

Unesco Most Programme - Wed, 05/10/2017 - 12:39
infocus_baku_closing_2017.jpg © UNESCO 10 May 2017

The 4th World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue concluded on 6 May in Baku, Azerbaijan, with UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova emphasizing in her closing remarks the importance of commitments made at the event and greater cooperation in the context of the plethora of current global issues, including the global growth of violent extremism, the mounting migration and displacement crisis, deepening economic inequality, and the rise of divisive political populism.

"As the Forum closes, we all feel commitment and a sense of urgency. We have to act (...) the world out there is very fragile. Peace is very fragile. How to sustain peace? How to build inclusive resilient societies? How to fight extremism and find this magic formula of living together? This deserves all our efforts and our commitment,” she stated.

Hosted generously by the Government of Azerbaijan, and H.E. Ilham Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, in partnership with UNESCO, the UN Alliance of Civilizations, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, the UN World Tourism Organization, the Council of Europe and the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, the Forum was attended by over 800 participants from over 120 countries. It underscored that dialogue is a prerequisite to preventing and addressing the challenges we face, for without dialogue the aspirations of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all, will remain elusive. In this context, partner organizations acknowledged the upcoming 10th anniversary of the Baku Process, recognizing the need to further their collaboration and joint action.

In cooperation with the Government of Azerbaijan, UNESCO convened a high-level meeting on girls’ education, attended by the first ladies of Azerbaijan, Ethiopia, Mali and Rwanda, which resulted in a Global Humanitarian Call to Invest in Girls Education seeking to build momentum for Girls Education to rank higher as a priority on global policy agendas. UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova also opened a session hosted by the Aladdin Project in memory of the late Samuel Pisar, UNESCO Honorary Ambassador and Special Envoy for Holocaust Education, entitled Lessons of the Holocaust for a Better Future of Intercultural Relations, underscoring UNESCO’s commitment to promoting a culture of prevention.

Some 13 UNESCO sessions covered topics such as the prevention of youth radicalization on the internet and the centrality of education for preventing violent extremism; empowering youth through intercultural dialogue; the potential of e-resources; the Muslim-Arab legacy to the West; mobilizing sport as a tool for dialogue; and the history of peace work across the UN system. UNESCO launched an e-Platform on intercultural competences, supported by Azerbaijan, which aims to become a global hub of resources to record and inspire innovative and impactful action on dialogue. A seminal research publication Interculturalism at the crossroads, establishing an ambitious new direction for collaboration focusing on intercultural competences, was also presented.

Discussions provided opportunities for the sharing of resources, knowledge and experience, opening new possibilities for joint thinking and action towards the aspirations of the International Decade for the Rapprochement of Cultures (2013-2022), Sustainable Development Goal 16 to promote peaceful and inclusive societies, and the Baku Process itself.

Categories: News

IFAP addresses 4th World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue in Baku

Unesco Most Programme - Wed, 05/10/2017 - 12:11
news_100517_baku.jpg © UNESCO 10 May 2017

The 4th World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue took place from 4 to 6 May 2017 in Baku, Azerbaijan with a goal to further promote peace, tolerance, understanding and dialogue among people and nations.

This year’s event was held under the theme of “Advancing Intercultural Dialogue: New Avenues for Human Security, Peace and Sustainable Development”. The Forum was organized in cooperation with UNESCO, the UN Alliance of Civilizations, the UN World Tourism Organization (WTO), the Council of Europe, the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the North-South Center of the Council of Europe. It gathered participants from some 125 countries. The Forum addressed many global challenges including building multicultural knowledge societies, dealing with massive migrations, xenophobia, discrimination and violent extremism, and discussed effective ways on how to cope with these challenges.

A breakout session, entitled “The cultural dimensions of countering extremism in cyberspace: The radicalization of youth leading to violence”, and moderated by Dr Boyan Radoykov from the Knowledge Societies Division of UNESCO, was held on 5 May. In his introduction to the debate, B. Radoykov presented the achievements of UNESCO in this important area and expressed his firm conviction that the created synergies both at national and international levels over the last two years, based on the work initiated by UNESCO, will ultimately lead to countering effectively the spread of hatred, intolerance and radicalization of youth leading to violent extremism.

Panel members included Ms Chafica Haddad, Chairperson of the Intergovernmental Council of the Information for All Programme (IFAP); Dr Mohamed Sameh Amr, Professor of International Law at Cairo University; Mr Farhad Hajiyev, Executive Director of the Youth Foundation of Azerbaijan; and Mr Daniel Da Hien, Coordinator of the African Youth Network of African NGO on information and training for youth.

Chafica Haddad said that information is a source of power that plays a major role in finding solution to many development issues. She stated also: “The last decade has witnessed technological development at a scale and speed unprecedented in the history of humankind… Information is central to development... Information is the pathway to understanding and peace. Today, we are witnessing the ever-growing rise of violent extremism on the Internet and social media… IFAP is determined to stand-up against youth radicalization in an active, holistic and efficient manner. It seeks to strengthen the role of youth as a positive force for social change around the world to promote social cohesion, intercultural and inter-religious dialogue, citizenship, gender equality, and the prevention of radicalization and extremism”.

Mohamed Sameh Amr pointed out that extremism is more easily wide spreading in places, where poverty prevails. “Prevention of extremism on the Internet is particularly important. UNESCO anticipated these problems and hosted in 2015 at its Headquarters a first-ever conference on radicalization of youth on Internet. This conference was very helpful to identify the problems at stake for young people that are vulnerable to extremism, which, in fact, has nothing to do with religion and ethnicity. The Internet is widely used for this purpose. Youth should fight against radical violent extremism on social media and the Internet. Internet providers should cooperate so as to block illegal propaganda websites,” he also said.

Mr Farhad Hajiyev, in turn, noted that the various ethnic groups and representatives of various religious denominations live peacefully in Azerbaijan: "Now everyone knows that the Internet is an integral part of our lives. The Internet is a completely new world, with more than 3 billion users around the world. Twitter and Facebook are sometimes used to spread negative beliefs. All States are suffering from the consequences of extremism. Socially marginalized young people are more prone to extremist radicalization. Azerbaijan attaches great importance to young people. We are one of the few countries whose Ministry of Youth and Sports have a Youth Foundation. Our Foundation creates the conditions for development of young people so that they can make positive changes," he added.

Mr Da Hien made a presentation of the ground work done by his NGO in Africa and emphasized the importance of gender equality, intercultural dialogue, entrepreneurship and social cohesion in the fight against radicalization and extremism on the Internet. Underlying that information is central to development and a pathway to understanding and peace, he also focused on the importance of equipping young people with media and information literacy skills in order to improve their critical thinking and abilities for development. “We advocate for preventing violent extremism through inclusive development and promotion among youth of the principles of tolerance and respect for diverse ideas and universal values,” he said, adding that to understand the roots of radicalization, “we have to take the cultural context as an important aspect, especially nowadays, when confronted with frequent migrations and different forms of multicultural societies”.

The panelists warned that violent extremists groups have considerably extended the outreach and recruitment by using a large number of websites, social media devices and interactive forums as easily accessible platforms for the dissemination of messages that incite hatred and prejudice, especially amongst young people. One of the main reasons contributing to the radicalization process is the lack of development opportunities, tolerance and respect, often resulting in their discrimination, alienation and marginalization.

Preventing and fighting violent extremism and learning how to live together regardless of differences in order to build safe and inclusive knowledge societies were central topics to which IFAP successfully contributed to this year’s event.

Categories: News

OECD Sahel and West Africa Club Secretariat

Europaid - Wed, 05/10/2017 - 11:44
Categories: News

Pages