Harnessing potential of social media: New partnership between UNESCO and EU

UNESCO and the European Union are launching a new project entitled ‘Social Media for Peace’ to strengthen the resilience of civil society to potential harmful content spread online, in particular hate speech inciting to violence, while enhancing the promotion of peace through digital technologies, notably social media.
The new project will last for 36 months and is funded by the Instrument contributing to stability and peace to the height of €3 M, and involve tree pilot countries: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Indonesia and Kenya.

As the UN Agency with the mandate to promote and protect freedom of expression, UNESCO will rely on its convening power to bring together major relevant stakeholders to pilot a dialogue gathering among others, representatives of social media platforms, of national authorities, of civil society organizations promoting freedom of expression, conflict prevention and peace building organization and conflict-affected communities.

This new project is aligned with UNESCO’s overall strategy to combat disinformation by fostering the information as a public good and strengthening the transparency of the internet ecosystem. In that respect, the project will benefit from the lessons learnt of another EU-funded Project #CoronavirusFacts which leverages the pivotal role of freedom of expression and access to information to address information needs in times of COVID-19 and to tackle the massive wave of disinformation related to the pandemic.

The Social Media for Peace project will also contribute to the achievement of SDG 16, to promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies and to the UN Plan of Action on Hate Speech launched by UN Secretary General Antonio Gutierrez to combat the online disturbing groundswell of xenophobia, racism and intolerance.


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