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NZ, France to jointly convene second Christchurch Call Leaders' Summit

New Zealand and France will jointly convene the second Christchurch Call Leaders' Summit later this month, which will see tech giants and world leaders come together to discuss the progress made to combat the threat of terrorism and violent extremist content online.

French President Emmanuel Macron and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Source: Getty

The Christchurch Call to Action was initiated by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern two years ago in the wake of the March 15 Christchurch terror attacks, which saw 51 people killed and dozens of others injured in shootings at two mosques in 2019.

A live stream of the attacks remained on Facebook for hours before it was removed.

Tech giants Facebook, Twitter, Google and Amazon are among those who have signed up to the pledge.

Ardern and French President Emmanuel Macron will co-chair the leaders’ meeting on the second anniversary of the Call on May 15 (NZT), which will see world leaders across supporting governments, tech companies and civil society.

The summit will be held to take stock of the progress made in eliminating terrorist and extremist content, and develop a new shared priority work plan.

“We expect the Call Community to refine its focus, redouble its efforts, and agree to a priority work plan for the year ahead. The inaugural Christchurch Call Community Consultation report provides the foundation for this work,” Ardern said.

She said a "strengthened collective ability to manage crises related to terrorist and violent extremist content online" are among the priorities she would like to see progressed.

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Proposed changes include creating a new offence for anyone planning or preparing a terrorist act. Source: 1 NEWS

"I would like to see us grow our shared understanding of algorithmic processes that have the potential to cause harm, or to radicalise or incite to acts of terrorism and violent extremism. And to develop positive interventions to address these.”

Macron said a "strengthened Call Community is critical to our enduring success".

"It needs to support and empower its members to engage in direct, constructive dialogue on issues of substance, support each other to do better and, where necessary, hold each other to account on delivery of the Call."

Both world leaders jointly welcomed the United States’ decision yesterday to formally join the Christchurch Call to eliminate terrorist and violent extremist content online.

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The United States government said yesterday in a statement: "The terrible terrorist attacks of March 15, 2019 against houses of worship in Christchurch, New Zealand, and the deplorable depiction in real time of those shootings graphically demonstrated the ability of terrorist and violent extremist online content to incite violence.

"For the United States, countering domestic violent extremism — including racially or ethnically motivated violent extremism — is a compelling priority. We are committed to working closely with international partners who share our values and norms to prevent and counter all forms of terrorism."

Ardern and Macron said the United States’ support to the Call would send a powerful message to those who would seek to exploit the internet to promote terrorism and violent extremism.

The New Zealand Prime Minister said the US government's support "recognises the importance of a multi-stakeholder approach to an issue that increasingly transcends borders, ideologies and nationalities" and the "importance of protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms online".

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"Many attacks since Christchurch, including in the United States, bear witness to the challenges we face," she said.

“The United States has long been a critically important ally in shared efforts against terrorism and violent extremism. Its formal support of the Christchurch Call is a welcome extension of that long-held partnership,” Macron added.

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"It is a global issue that requires a collaborative response by governments, tech companies and civil society, all supporting a free, open and secure internet."

“We will not waver from our shared belief there is no place online for terrorist and violent extremist content,” Ardern added.