UNESCO and Québec (Canada) conference on ways to prevent youth radicalization through the internet
Paris, 24 October–Some 400 participants at an international conference organized by UNESCO and the governments of Canada and Quebec, will seek to determine ways to counter extremists’ sophisticated use of the internet to radicalize young people and recruit supporters from many countries. The conference, “Internet and the radicalization of youth: Preventing, Acting and Living together”, organized in the framework of the Information for All Programme (IFAP), will be held from 30 October to 1 November in Quebec (Canada).
Representatives of governments, international organizations, academia, youth, civil society at the conference, will share best practices and target possible solutions to counter extremist groups’ use of social media and the internet to garner support and recruit militants worldwide.
The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, will address the conference as will government ministers from Belgium, France, Honduras, Mali and Senegal.
“Mastering the use of technological tools should include a dimension that is not only practical, but also ethical,” argues the Director-General, while advocating the need to “give young people the means to exchange views, communicate and cooperate by moving beyond social, cultural and linguistic borders, and to develop new forms of global citizenship, including digital citizenship.”
The Quebec meeting is a follow up to the first ever conference on the subject, “Youth and the Internet: Fighting Radicalization,” organized by UNESCO and IFAP in June last year. At that time, UNESCO also launched an ongoing initiative to counter youth radicalization, A New Integrated Framework of Action - Empowering Youth to Build Peace: Youth 2.0 – Building Skills, Bolstering Peace.
In its work against violent radicalization, UNESCO is promoting global citizenship education, media and information literacy, skills for intercultural dialogue and initiatives to stimulate civic engagement and promote counter narratives on all platforms both on and off- line. As part of this effort, UNESCO this year published a Teacher’s Guide on the Prevention of Violent Extremism.
These activities reflect UNESCO’s commitment to promoting peace and respect for diversity and human rights, including freedom of expression. They are also organized in the context of UN-wide decisions: Resolution 2250, of the UN General Assembly, which recognizes the essential role that young people, the internet and information networks play in sustainable development, peace and security. It particularly focuses on the role of young people in building peace and the fight against violent extremism, and the United Nations Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism, adopted earlier this year, which stresses the need to link legal responses, security measures and persuasion strategies in this regard.
Media contacts: UNESCO Press Service: Roni Amelan, firstname.lastname@example.org, +33(0)145681650
Ministry of International Affairs and Francophonie, Government of Quebec, for accreditation and interview requests during the event: +1 (0)418 649 2400, ext. 57819, medias(at)mri.gouv.qc.ca.
Conference agenda: http://fr.unesco.org/sites/default/files/quebec_conference_programme_en.pdf
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