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Building peace in the minds of men and women

Youth and the Internet: Fighting Radicalization and Extremism

About the conference

The conference organised in the framework of the Intergovernmental Information for All Programme (IFAP) will share experiences on policy interventions, projects and processes for reducing the use of the Internet as a tool for youth extremism and radicalism. Organised in partnership with the International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC), the conference will bring together researchers, policy-makers, youth NGOs, experts and practitioners from a range of institutional types and disciplines in this field.

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Hugues Mingarelli

The European Union

H.E Mohamed Sameh Amr

Chairman of the Executive Board of UNESCO, Ambassador and Permanent Delegate of Egypt to UNESCO

Prof. Meng Wei

Chinese Academy of Social Sciences

Jens-Henrik Jeppesen

Center for Democracy and Technology

Lawrence Ndambuki Muli

Pan African Youth Network on the Culture of Peace

Camelia Nistor

UNITED for Intercultural actions, Romania

Bridget O’Loughlin

Council of Europe

Dana Asaad

Media Academy Iraq

Dr. Marc Hecker

French Institute of International Relations (IFRI) (France)

Laurent Bonelli

University Paris-Ouest-Nanterre-La Défense (France)

Prof. Gilles Kepel

University Professor

Francine Saillant

Research Centre CELAT/Laval University, Canada

Nathalie Goulet

French Senate

Ahmad Alhendawi

UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy on Youth

Olav Vogt Engeland

European Law Students’ Association

Margarita Popova

Vice-President of the Republic of Bulgaria

Lakshitha Saji Prelis

Search for Common Ground (Sri Lanka)

Dr. Francisco Legaz

International Juvenile Justice Observator

Selim Kharrat

NGO Al-Bawsala (Tunisia)

Dr. Shashi Tharoor

Member of Parliament, India

Remzi Lani

Albanian Media Institute

Hatem Atallah

Anna Lindh Foundation

Chafica Haddad

Chair of the Information for All Programme (IFAP)

Dr. Olunifesi Adekunle Suraj

Lagos State University (Nigeria)

Prof. Lynn Davies

University of Birmingham

Prof. Pat Dolan

UNESCO Chair in Children, Youth and Civic Engagement, (Ireland)

Prof. Dr. Rüdiger Lohlker

University of Vienna (Austria)

Lillian Nalwoga

Internet Society ISOC (Uganda)

Jove Jankulovski

Interactive Education and Resource Network (IMOR)

Harry L. Roque

Associate Professor and Director, UP Law Center

Haras Rafiq

Quilliam Foundation (United Kingdom)

Iginio Gagliardone

University of Oxford

Iyad Kallas

Radio Souriali (Syria)

Prof. Mark Brennan

UNESCO Chair for Rural Community, Leadership, and Youth Development

Daniel Da Hien

African Youth Network

Albana Shala

Chair of the International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC)

Khadija Ali

NET-MED Youth in Tripoli

Ernesto Rodríguez

CELAJU (Uruguay)

Abdelbasset Ben Hassen

Arab Institute for Human Rights

Dr. Sami Hourani

Leaders of Tomorrow, Engagement experience in Jordan through For9a and FADFED Programmes (Jordan)


Tue, 16 Jun
9:30 to 10:15 Opening Remarks
10:15 to 11:00 Keynote speeches
  • Prof. Gilles Kepel, University Professor: “Online Radicalization : User’s Manual”
  • Dr Shashi Tharoor, Member of Parliament and Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on External Affairs, India: "Terrorism, the Internet and the Human Imagination"
11:00 to 11:15 Coffee break

Coffee break

11:15 to 12:30 The United Nations/International perspective
  • Mr. Ahmad Alhendawi, UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy on Youth
  • Prof. Lynn Davies, International Education University of Birmingham: “The role of schools in challenging on-line radicalization”
  • Mr. Hatem Atallah, Director, Anna Lindh Foundation: “Young Mediterranean Voices in the Digital Age: The Potential of Internet for Intercultural Dialogue”
  • Dr. Francisco Legaz, Chairman of the International Juvenile Justice Observatory: "Children recruited into terror: prevention and re-integration"

Discussion with the audience

14:30 to 15:30 Role of research/academia
  • Prof. Pat Dolan, UNESCO Chair in Children, Youth and Civic Engagement, Ireland: “Real world Research  - Helping to Counter  Youth Radicalization and Extremism”
  • Prof. Meng Wei, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences: "Facing Micro-blog Mobilization: Cultivation of Youth Network Literacy”

Role of the Private Sector and Technical community

Room XII

  • Ms. Delphine Reyre, Director of Policy, France and Southern Europe Facebook
  • Mr. Yonathan Parienti, CEO Horyou, Private platform for online collaboration for development: "Youth: Connect for Good".
  • Mr. Jens-Henrik Jeppesen, Director for European Affairs of the Center for Democracy and Technology
14:30 to 15:00 Rising Challenges and Forging Responses
  • Dr. Marc Hecker,  Institut français des relations internationales, France : "Quelles réponses à l'utilisation du web par les groupes extrémistes violents?"
  • Mr. Haras Rafiq, Managing Director,  Quilliam Foundation, United Kingdom: “Pathways and solutions to Islamist Radicalization”
  • Prof. Mark Brennan, UNESCO Chair for Rural Community, Leadership, and Youth Development and Professor of Leadership and Community Development at the Pennsylvania State University, USA: “Communicating across divides: A process and case studies for challenging extremism”.

Discussion with the audience

15:00 to 15:30 The governmental approach

Discussion with the audience

15:30 to 15:45 Coffee break

Coffee break

15:45 to 17:30 Exploring case studies and experience across the world
  • Mr. Jove Jankulovski, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia: "Case Studies / Experiences from the Balkans."
  • Mr. Abdelbasset Ben Hassen, Arab Institute for Human Rights: “Role of the Internet in promoting the culture of human rights and citizenship among young people during the transitional process”
  • Mr. Ernesto Rodriguez, CELAJU, Uruguay: “Youth, Violence and Internet in Latin America: Experiences and Challenges”
  • “Internet as a collaborative tool for promoting a Culture of Peace in Africa”:  Mr. Lawrence Ndambuki Muli, President and Regional Coordinator, Pan African Youth Network on the Culture of Peace, and Mr. Daniel Da Hien, Coordinator, Réseau Afrique Jeunesse
  • Mr. Harry L. Roque, Director of the Institute of International Legal Studies, University of the Philippines Law Center: "Southeast Asian Experiences on hate speech and blasphemy: impact on radicalization"

Discussion with the audience

15:45 to 17:30 Freedom of expression in countering online radicalization
  • Ms. Gabrielle Guillemin, Senior Legal Officer, Article 19
  • Mr. Larry Kilman, Secretary General, World Association of Newspapers
  • Mr. Remzi Lani, Director, Albanian Media Institute: "Political correctness off-line vs hate speech on-line"
  • Dr. Olunifesi Adekunle Suraj, Postgraduate Programme Coordinator, School of Communication, Lagos State University: "Employing MIL as a proactive measure in combating Internet Extremism and Radicalization among Youths"
  • Mr. Iginio Gagliardone, Oxford University, lead author of forthcoming UNESCO study “Countering online hate speech”
  • Mr. Dana Asaad, journalist, Managing Director of Media Academy Iraq

Discussion with the audience

Wed, 17 Jun
9:30 to 10:45 Approaches to counter-radicalization

Discussion with the audience

11:00 to 12:30 Multi-faceted youth online engagement
  • Ms. Francine Saillant, Director of the research Centre CELAT/Laval University, Canada: Characteristics and paradoxes of youth online engagement and behaviors
  • Mr. Sami Hourani, Leaders of Tomorrow, Engagement experience in Jordan through For9a and Fadfed Programmes, Jordan
  • Ms. Khadija Ali, Coordinator NET-MED Youth in Tripoli: “Youth driving the change in Libya through Internet: experiences and risks”

Interactive and guided brainstorming session with the youth and the audience

14:30 to 15:30 Youth-led innovative platforms and practices
  • Mr. Selim Kharrat, Founding Director of the NGO Al-Bawsala, Tunisia: “The use of social media for education on democracy and accountability of national stakeholders”.
  • Mr. Iyad Kallas, Board member, Programs Manager - Radio Souriali, Syria: “How to use youth-led web radios to promote inter-cultural dialogue and counter radicalization?”
  • Mr. Olav Vogt Engeland, Norway, European Law students Association: Students - led guidelines to fight against Hate Speech and discrimination
  • Ms Baktygul  Kubanychbekova, Lawyer specialized in mass media law and cyber security issues, Kyrgyzstan : “Youth-led Initiatives on Cyber CVE (Countering Violent Extremism) in Kyrgyzstan”

Discussion with the audience

15:30 to 15:45 The way ahead

Taking UNESCO’s mandate forward: Presentation of related activities

15:45 to 17:00 Presentation of the pilot projects

Discussion with the audience

17:00 to 17:30 Closing remarks

Mr. Getachew Engida, Deputy Director-General of UNESCO