Youth and Technology

“Around the world, young women and men are at the forefront of efforts to prevent and counter violent extremism and promote peace”.

-- Speech by António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has prioritised youth in their PVE work with such projects as Frontlines: Young people at the heart of addressing and preventing violent extremism - Evidence and promising practices (2018). Another example is the Youth4Peace Global Knowledge Portal which is a multi-stakeholder partnership between the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Peacebuilding Support Office (PBSO), Search for Common Ground (SfCG) and the United Network of Young Peacebuilders (UNOY Peacebuilders), working together through the inter-agency Working Group on Youth and Peacebuilding. The platform, launched in 2016 to promote and support the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 2250 on Youth, Peace and Security, is hosted by the UNDP Youth Global Programme. UNDP has also produced a video on how to combat the rising influence of radical ideologies among Asian youth - Preventing Violent Extremism in Asia and the Pacific.

In 2016, Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) and the Zurich-based ICT4Peace Foundation launched a project on private sector engagement in responding to the use of ICT for terrorist purposes. The project involves numerous partners from Government, the private sector, trade associations, civil society, academia, and multi-stakeholder and public/private initiatives. The project subsequently evolved into the “Tech Against Terrorism” initiative. On 26 June 2017, Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter, and YouTube announced the formation of the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT), which aims to develop technological solutions, conduct research, and share knowledge with smaller companies to contribute to the global fight against terrorism. On 29 November 2017, Tech Against Terrorism launched its online Knowledge-Sharing Platform (KSP) to promote the sharing of good practices, in partnership with the Republic of Korea and GIFCT. The KSP is a website containing a collection of tools and resources to support the efforts of start-ups and smaller technology companies to strengthen their response to terrorist exploitation of the Internet.

UNOCT/UNCCT and UNESCO launched the project “Prevention of Violent Extremism through Youth Empowerment in Jordan, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia”, This project aims to create opportunities for young women and men to engage as change-makers and peacebuilders in their immediate communities and wider societies, and to promote a constructive vision of young people as leaders, addressing hate related issues. UNESCO is engaging youth in the protection of all forms of heritage and the promotion of cultural diversity to foster more fair, inclusive and peaceful societies, through the #Unite4Heritage campaign and Educational Programmes on Heritage and Creativity.

UNOCT/UNCCT has been delivering the “Capacity Building of Technical and Vocational Training Institutes” in a number of countries, including in South Asia, to support vulnerable young adults acquire skills to find and retain decent employment. Another UNOCT/UNCCT project is Preventing Violent Extremism through Strategic Communications which led to the development of the United Nations Strategic Communications Approach to Preventing Violent Extremism, which includes key recommendations and guidance on how United Nations entities should communicate about violent extremism using United Nations values as a foundation for effective alternative narratives that resonate at the local level.