Remarks to Christchurch Call Leaders’ Dialogue

E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā iwi, e ngā rau rangatira ma

Tēnā koutou katoa

It has been four months since some of us met in Paris to adopt the Christchurch Call to Action to eliminate terrorist and violent extremist content online.

Since May, we have seen further attacks and further reminders our task remains urgent.

I am pleased to have His Majesty King Abdullah, President Macron and Sheryl Sandberg alongside me today.

None of us can fix this problem alone. Cultures of partnership are part of New Zealand’s fabric as a nation.

And the Christchurch Call has required a new kind of multi-stakeholder diplomacy.

In only four short months we have – collectively – made real strides toward both preventing and responding to the very real harm caused by terrorist and violent extremist content online.

I know colleagues will speak to the details of this announcement, so I will only note that the plan for a reshaped Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (the GIFCT) is a substantial, meaningful commitment by industry.

This has been developed in conversation with partner governments and civil society, in the spirit of collaboration of the Christchurch Call.

We know we need to tackle the drivers of extremism – and this happens offline as well. Increasing social cohesion and reducing inequality are priorities for my government.

But sometimes, as we learned on 15 March, our communities will be harmed. And when that happens, we need to be ready to respond.

One of my priorities out of Paris has therefore been to develop a shared crisis response protocol – a shared set of expectations and understandings on who to contact and how to do it, should there be another attack like Christchurch.

I don’t want any other country to be placed in the situation New Zealand was in the minutes, hours and days after the attack in Christchurch, when we were left scrambling to respond to and remove livestreamed hate.

I am pleased to say today that this crisis response protocol is ready to deploy.

President Macron and I are today pleased to welcome a range of new partners in our efforts. I would like to acknowledge all of the new Call supporters in the room – thank you for joining us.

I look forward to hearing from Call supporters today on steps they are taking to progress their commitments.

I also want to acknowledge the ten representatives of the Christchurch Call Advisory Network here today. The Call acknowledges the important role of civil society in providing advice and challenge to governments and companies. 

We remain committed to protecting human rights, including both freedom of expression but also the rights of the victims of terrorism. And we are committed to a free, open and secure internet.

Finally I wish to convey a heartfelt thank you from New Zealand to all the Call participants, but especially the tech companies in the room here today.

When we determined in the days after March 15 we would do all we could to ensure what happened on our shores would never happen anywhere else again, we didn’t know the level of support and commitment to action we would see.

Together we are building a safer world.

For that thank you.