NZ-France to co-chair Christchurch Call Leaders’ Summit

New Zealand and France will jointly convene the Christchurch Call Community for a leaders’ summit, to take stock of progress and develop a new shared priority work plan.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and President Emmanuel Macron will co-chair the leaders’ meeting on the 2nd anniversary of the Call, on 14 May CEST/15 May, NZT.

The summit will bring together leaders across Call supporting governments, tech companies and civil society. 

“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,” Jacinda Ardern said.

“Among the priorities I would like to see progressed is a strengthened collective ability to manage crises related to terrorist and violent extremist content online.

“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.” 

“Increased transparency on methods used to moderate harmful online content, from companies and governments, will underpin our commitment to uphold fundamental internet freedoms,” Emmanuel 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 leaders have also jointly welcomed the United States’ decision to formally join the Christchurch Call to eliminate terrorist and violent extremist content online.

They also warmly welcomed the United States’ intention to attend the Christchurch Call Second Anniversary virtual leaders’ Summit.

Both leaders 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 US Government’s support recognises the importance of a multi-stakeholder approach to an issue that increasingly transcends borders, ideologies and nationalities, and the ability of any one group or country to address on their own,” Jacinda Ardern said. “It also recognises the importance of protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms online”

“The major US tech companies are supporters of the Call, and having the US Government on board will further strengthen actions to reduce the risk of the internet being used as a tool for terrorists.

“Many attacks since Christchurch, including in the United States, bear witness to the challenges we face,” Jacinda Ardern said. 

“The pervasive threat of terrorist and hateful content online continues to contribute and fuel violent extremism and terrorist actions. We believe the Call remains a cornerstone of our collective efforts against the presence online of such content,” President Macron said. “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.”

“The work of the Call is ongoing and it remains as important as when it was launched two years ago,” Emmanuel Macron said.

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

In this context, both leaders said they were delighted to welcome like-minded partner the United States as a supporter of the Christchurch Call.

“The challenge of the Christchurch Call cannot be addressed wholly within the confines of one country’s rules and regulations,” Emmanuel Macron 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,” he concluded.

Editors’ Notes:

  • Jacinda Ardern and Emmanuel Macron will jointly co-chair a leaders-level virtual summit on the second anniversary of the Christchurch Call on 14 May CEST/15 May, NZT.
  • New Zealand and France are hosting the virtual platform, where the leaders of Call supporting governments, tech companies and civil society network members will convene to agree a shared work programme for the year ahead.
  • In the second half of 2019, the Governments of New Zealand and France carried out a survey of the Call community, to take stock of the many ways in which supporters are fulfilling their commitments to the Christchurch Call. From that survey, the Christchurch Call Community Consultation Report was produced.
  • This report has provided a foundation for work to develop a shared work plan to be agreed at the Summit.