ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates - Wednesday, November 18th 2015 [ME NewsWire]
In recognition of its security and police work in the field of child protection, the United Arab Emirates Ministry of Interior (MoI) was awarded a permanent seat on the #WePROTECT International Advisory Board (IAB). With this accolade, the UAE, represented by the MoI, will have two seats on the Board; as chair of the Virtual Global Taskforce (VGT) for the next three years and a permanent member of the #WePROTECT IAB - similar to the UK Home Office. Ernie Allen, chair of the #WePROTECT IAB, made the announcement Tuesday at the second Global Summit on Ending Online Child Sexual Exploitation, organized by the MoI in Abu Dhabi.
Allen praised the UAE’s organization of the summit and the speech delivered by Lt. General His Highness Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior. In his speech, HH asserted that the summit convened in order to protect the most treasured possession; and to build a bulwark that protects children from falling prey to predators. His Highness continued by saying that success depends on joint efforts and collaboration to create a safe and stable international environment– it cannot be done alone. HH said that this joint cooperation will utilize all available resources, and will work hand-in-hand with others around the world in order to achieve prosperity and development.
Major Dana Humaid Al-Marzouqi, Manager of the Executive Office of the VGT Chair, said: “Reaching an agreement on how we will deliver what has been discussed at this summit is a great success. We are convinced that the Statement of Action for governments, industry, and capacity building are turning points in how we tackle online child sexual exploitation.”
She said the summit facilitated 40 countries in signing the Statement of Action, with 17 commitments from industry and 16 organizations committing to capacity building. She added that the Statement included a National Response Model, and provides guidance for countries regarding the necessary capabilities to combat this crime in partnership with law enforcement, NGOs and technology companies.
Al-Marzouqi mentioned that the Chinese internet giant Tencent was amongst the signatories this year - which is a major development. She said the Statement of Action for capacity building brings together the civil society and international organizations; and through coordinated action, organizations promise to amplify their existing expertise and influence to maximize collective resources. She said the Statements of Action in London and Abu Dhabi fully support establishing the WePROTECT Advisory Board by March 2016.
Microsoft Corporation presented its vision regarding private sector support for the #WePROTECT initiative to protect children. Jacqueline Beauchere, Chief Online Safety Officer, announced the launch of a guideline to promote international response and reinforce preventative efforts.
Cosimo Ferri, Italian Undersecretary of State at the Ministry of Justice, said that Italy believes in mutual efforts to eradicate child abuse material online and apprehend offenders via international cooperation. Ferri also called for establishing a unified center to standardize response efforts, including an internationally cooperative database, necessary support through modern technology, coordinated investigations, and support for private sector institutions.
Ana Helena Chacón Echeverría, 2nd Vice President of Costa Rica, praised the organizational efforts of the summit, noting that child exploitation is a painful tangible reality that requires all forms of support and care for children and teenagers.
HE Baroness Joanna Shields, UK Minister for Internet Safety and Security, explained that the summit fosters the exchange of ideas and recommendations by child protection experts, law enforcement agencies, volunteer organizations, governments, and technology partners, who discuss solutions to ensure online safety.
Fatoumata Ndiaye, Deputy Executive Director at UNICEF, said she was honored to participate in the summit and valued the support and attention of the UAE to protect and care for children through humanitarian and developmental aspects by supporting the UNICEF’s efforts.
Diahann Gordon Harrison, Children’s Advocate at the Attorney General Office of Jamaica, expressed appreciation for the host of the successful summit and praised the Emirati hospitality.
Ramzi Jabbour, Deputy Commissioner of the Australian Federal Police, said the summit plays a key role in attracting law enforcement agencies and private sector companies to support efforts to eradicate all forms of crimes against children worldwide.
Google: Historic Summit
Susan Molinari, Google's Vice President of Public Policy and Government Relations, called the summit as historic. She noted that it provided the opportunity for participants from various countries to pledge further commitment to the vital issue; and praised the commitment of the UAE to protect children and combat online child abuse and exploitation.
Facebook Praises Summit
Antigone Davis, Facebook's Head of Global Safety, praised the excellent organization of the summit, noting that the summit has achieved its objectives in discussing an important societal issue. She commended the distinguished relations with the UAE MoI, and expressed that she is looking forward to further enhancing this cooperation in the fight against online child sexual abuse and exploitation.
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