Egypt calls on UNESCO to help fight "cancer of our age": terrorism

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Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. UN Photo/Cia Pak

The President of Egypt described terrorism as the "cancer of our age" on Tuesday and called on the UN's scientific and cultural organization, UNESCO, to be given a greater role in the fight.

Abdel Fattah Al Sisi was speaking during the annual General Debate of world leaders at UN Headquarters in New York and he said terrorists must be prevented from taking advantage of new technology.

Matthew Wells has more.

The Egyptian President said that it was "essential to end the broadcasting of channels" or websites, which "incite violence and extremism".

Such censorship, he argued, was important to stamp out the global reach of jihadist propaganda.

He reminded those listening in the General Assembly Hall that UNESCO's constitution states that "war begins in the minds of men" and therefore psychological "fences of peace" had to be built in the war against terror.

His words are spoken by an interpreter.

"The cancer of our age is terrorism that breeds the call for extremism and violence in the minds of people. Accordingly it is our duty to instil in those very same minds the principles of tolerance and coexistence. We must employ culture, technology and knowledge to benefit the development of peace."

He said the UN had to give "greater attention" to the cultural aspects of peace-making, and help make technology more accessible to Member States, with a greater role for UNESCO.

Knowledge and technology, he added, needed to be "shared without monopoly".

Matthew Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 1'03"

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