7th UNAOC Global Forum will put Migration and Media in the forefront

New York, April 25, 2016. Migration and Media will be the focus of a number of the breakout sessions at the upcoming 7th UNAOC Global Forum. Migration and Media, two of the four pillars of activities for UNAOC, are seen as two key elements of enhancing intercultural understanding and building inclusive societies.

“The promotion of just, peaceful, and inclusive societies requires overcoming challenges related to migration”, says United Nations High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations Mr. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser. “The media is one key actor in moving forward to the goal of an inclusive society.” Both Migration and Media are two of the four pillars, which the UNAOC activities focus on.

The breakout sessions dedicated to Migration and Media will provide an opportunity for showcasing the impact and results of the projects of UNAOC and its partners; for discussing best practices in various relevant areas; and for strengthening existing partnerships and fostering new ones.

The breakout session on “#SpreadNoHate: Sharing Good Practices on Preventing and Countering Hate Speech” will continue the dialogue on hate speech in the media that was kicked off with a one-day symposium at the UN Headquarters in December 2015. The session intends to provide the public with a more complete and nuanced understanding of hate speech, its implications for fueling radicalization, and to develop stronger media codes of conduct that foster tolerance and respect.

Media practitioners and professionals participating in this session include Susan Sachs, an award-winning journalist and editor who specializes in international affairs; Dr. Kemal Ilter, visiting professor of communication at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; and Menno Ettema, No Hate Speech Movement Coordinator at the Council of Europe.

The breakout session on “Reporting in Times of Crisis: Telling Migrant Tales through Creative Storytelling” will look at various creative initiatives that are used to efficiently combat extremist and hateful language. At a time when journalists have to constantly reinvent themselves and find new ways to create appealing content, this session will discuss the value of transversal and multidisciplinary approaches in order to build strong counter narratives that can reach a large number of people.

Panellists include Vania Andre, Editor in Chief of The Haitian Times; Jose Antonio Vargas, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and filmmaker; and Colin Boyd Shafer, documentary photographer.

The breakout session on “Counter-Narratives to Cyberextremism through Apps and Video Games” will examine the capacity of Information and communication technologies (ICT) to empower counter-narratives and to support efforts for the better understanding among individuals of different cultural and religious backgrounds. The session will also explore how educational and governmental institutions can support ICT peace-building initiatives.

Speakers will include Hans Shakur, Tech-Community leader and Entrepreneur; Tim Receveur, Director at PeaceTech Lab; and Renee Black, Founder and Executive Director of PeaceGeeks.

Further information:

The breakout session “#SpreadNoHate: Sharing Good Practices of Preventing and Countering Hate Speech” will take place on April 26, 2016, 2:30-4:00pm AZT (10:30am-12:00pm GMT).

The breakout session “Counter Narratives to Cyberextremism Through Apps and Video Games” will take place on April 26, 2016, 4:30-6:00pm AZT (12:30-2:00pm GMT).

The breakout session “Reporting in Times of Crisis: Telling Migrant Tales through Creative Storytelling” will take place on April 27, 2016, 09:30-11:00am AZT (5:30-7:00am GMT).*

*This session will be broadcasted live on and

A detailed program as well as concept notes and the speaker list can be found

About the Forum:

The Forum will take place on 25-27 April 2016 in Baku, Azerbaijan, bringing together around 2,500 heads of states, government officials, civil society, religious and youth leaders to share their perspectives and solutions on “Living Together in Inclusive Societies: A Challenge and A Goal”. The theme reflects UNAOC’s core mission to improve understanding and collaboration among peoples across cultures by reducing polarization. The definition of feasible and global solutions also contributes to achieving SDG 16 of the UN’s 2030 Development Agenda, which calls for the promotion of “just, peaceful and inclusive societies” as well as SDG 17, which aims at “revitalizing the global partnership for sustainable development.”

Follow the Forum on Twitter #UNAOCBaku2016