A breakout session, entitled “The cultural dimensions of countering extremism in cyberspace: The radicalization of youth leading to violence”, was held on the sidelines of the 4th World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue in Baku May 5.
The session was attended by Chafica Haddad, Chairperson of the Intergovernmental Council of the Information for All Programme (IFAP) and the Deputy Permanent Delegate of Grenada to UNESCO, Mohamed Sameh Amr, Professor and Chair of International Law at Cairo University, Former Ambassador and Permanent Delegate of Egypt to UNESCO, Farhad Hajiyev, Executive Director of the Youth Foundation of Azerbaijan, Daniel Da Hien, Coordinator of the African Youth Network of African NGO on information and training for youth, APA reported.
Chafica Haddad said that information is a source of power that plays a major role in solution of many issues and development of the country.
“Information is also the way leading to peace and unity. UNESCO's IFAP program is focused on the fight against radical extremism. Also, this program serves to link countries with each other, to establish intercultural dialogue. In each country, technologies are used are used to get people to know each other and establish friendship and cultural ties between them. However, groups engaged in radical extremism are using it to violate the security,” she added.
Mohamed Sameh Amr said extremism is widespread in places, where poverty prevails. “Prevention of extremism on the internet is particularly important, but it is very difficult for some communities. UNESCO sees these problems. In early 2015, UNESCO headquarters hosted a conference on radicalization of youth on internet. This conference was very helpful. Once can be a terrorist at any age. But young people are vulnerable to extremism. The Internet is widely used for this purpose. Extremism has nothing to do religion and ethnicity. The international community must find a lasting solution to this problem. UNESCO should support civil society in the fight against extremism in the Internet space. Youth should fight against radical extremism on social media and the Internet. Internet providers should cooperate so as to block illegal sites,” he said.
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 thoughts. Potential radical extremism is not representative of a certain ethnic group or culture. All states are suffering from the consequences of extremism. Socially marginalized young people are more prone to extremism. 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 young people so that they can make positive changes," he said.