UN / HATE SPEECH STRATEGY

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18-Jun-2019 00:02:39
At the launch of the United Nations Strategy and Plan of Action to combat hate speech today, UN chief António Guterres said, “Hate speech may have gained a foothold. But it is now on notice. We will never stop confronting it.” UNIFEED

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STORY: UN / HATE SPEECH STRATEGY
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SOURCE: UNIFEED
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LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 18 JUNE 2019, NEW YORK CITY

SHOTLIST:

FILE - NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, UNHQ exterior

18 JUNE 2019, NEW YORK CITY

2. Wide shot, ECOSOC Chamber
3. Wide shot, Guterres and Dieng at meeting
4. SOUNDBITE (English) António Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations:
“In both liberal democracies and authoritarian regimes, some political leaders are bringing the hate-fuelled ideas and language of these groups into the mainstream, normalizing them, coarsening the public discourse and weakening the social fabric.”
5. Wide shot, delegates
6. SOUNDBITE (English) António Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations:
“As new channels for hate speech are reaching wider audiences than ever at lightning speed, we all – the United Nations, governments, technology companies, educational institutions – need to step up our response. The United Nations Strategy and Plan of Action we are launching today is an ambitious programme to coordinate efforts across the UN system to identify, prevent and confront hate speech, using all the means in our power.”
7. Pan right, ECOSOC Chamber
8. Wide shot, ECOSOC Chamber
9. SOUNDBITE (English) António Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations:
“Hate speech may have gained a foothold. But it is now on notice. We will never stop confronting it.”
10. Wide shot, Guterres and Dieng at dais
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Adama Dieng, Under-Secretary General, Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, United Nations:
“The strategy, and plan of action, does not call for the restriction of freedom of expression and opinion while addressing the hate speech. By contrast, it adopts a wholistic approach that aims at tackling the whole life cycle of hate speech from its root causes to its impact on societies. It considers also more speech, alternative, positive, and counter-narratives, to be the answer to hate speech.”
12. Zoom out, Guterres and Dieng walking to stakeout
13. SOUNDBITE (English) António Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations:
“Addressing hate speech does not mean limiting or prohibiting freedom of speech. It means keeping hate speech from escalating into something more dangerous, particularly incitement to discrimination, hostility and violence, which is prohibited under international law. We need to treat hate speech as we treat every malicious act: by condemning it, refusing to amplify it, countering it with the truth, and encouraging the perpetrators to change their behaviour. And this is clearly not something we can do alone.”
14. Wide shot, Guterres and Dieng at stakeout
15. Pan right, Guterres and Dieng leaving stakeout

STORYLINE:

At the launch of the United Nations Strategy and Plan of Action to combat hate speech today (18 Jun), UN chief António Guterres said, “Hate speech may have gained a foothold. But it is now on notice. We will never stop confronting it.”

Guterres said there has been an upsurge of xenophobia, racism and intolerance, violent misogyny, anti-Semitism, anti-Muslim hatred, and attacks on Christian communities.

He added that in “both liberal democracies and authoritarian regimes, some political leaders are bringing the hate-fuelled ideas and language of these groups into the mainstream, normalizing them, coarsening the public discourse and weakening the social fabric.”

He stressed that as new channels for hate speech are reaching “wider audiences than ever at lightning speed, we all – the United Nations, governments, technology companies, educational institutions – need to step up our response.” He said the Plan of Action launching is an “ambitious programme to coordinate efforts across the UN system to identify, prevent and confront hate speech, using all the means in our power.”

The Secretary-General said the Plan of Action aims to enhance efforts to address the root causes of hate speech including violence, marginalization, discrimination, poverty, exclusion, inequality, lack of basic education, and weak state institutions. It also enables the United Nations to respond effectively to the impact of hate speech on societies. Guterres urged Member States and all partners to support Special Envoy Adama Dieng, who will be the focal point for implementing and coordinating the Plan of Action.

For his part, Dieng said hate speech was a challenge from which no country can claim to be immune with new media connecting the world in real-time, adding that social media should be a platform to promote equality and tolerance. He said the Plan of Action listed 13 commitments including tackling the root causes of hate speech, building the capacity of UN staff, maximizing the use of technology and education, leveraging partners including working with social media companies, and supporting Member States in capacity building and policy development.

Dieng underscored that the Strategy was in line with international norms and standards, particularly the right to freedom of expression and opinion. He said, “The strategy, and plan of action, does not call for the restriction of freedom of expression and opinion while addressing the hate speech. By contrast, it adopts a wholistic approach that aims at tackling the whole life cycle of hate speech from its root causes to its impact on societies. It considers also more speech, alternative, positive, and counter-narratives, to be the answer to hate speech.”

Speaking to reporters following the meeting, UN chief António Guterres said political leaders in some countries were adopting the slogans and ideas of hate groups, demonizing the vulnerable and weakening the standards of decency in public discourse that have served us for decades.

Guterres stressed that the UN supports freedom of expression and opinion everywhere. He said, “Addressing hate speech does not mean limiting or prohibiting freedom of speech. It means keeping hate speech from escalating into something more dangerous, particularly incitement to discrimination, hostility and violence, which is prohibited under international law. We need to treat hate speech as we treat every malicious act: by condemning it, refusing to amplify it, countering it with the truth, and encouraging the perpetrators to change their behaviour. And this is clearly not something we can do alone.”
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