Child Protection Summit Kicks Off in Abu Dhabi
Held under the theme of “We Protect”, the second Global Summit on Ending Online Child Sexual Exploitation kicked off on Monday in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE). The summit is held under the patronage of General HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces; and was organized by the Ministry of Interior (MoI).
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HH Sheikh Saif bin Zayed in a group photo with key guests at the event (Photo: ME NewsWire)
“We gather here today to work together to find solutions for the issue of child abuse; and in the hope that we will stand as a bulwark against those who attempt to jeopardize the innocence of the world’s children and to undermine their promising future,” said Lt. General HH Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior.
HH Sheikh Saif expressed the condolences of the leadership, the government and the people of the UAE to the families and friends of the victims of the Paris terror bombings. “Such heinous attacks are a betrayal to humanity,” HH said as he asserted that the UAE stands in solidarity with France and international forces in the fight to uproot the forces of evil, darkness and extremism.
HH said that the objective of the summit was to end the exploitation of children and to relentlessly pursue ways to protect them through one united global entity and unified vision. “Success hinges on joining forces and collectively working together to create a safe and stable international environment– it cannot be done alone,” he said.
Attendees included experts and ministers, ambassadors and members of the diplomatic corps in the UAE and around the world; alongside a large turnout of guests.
HE Baroness Shields, UK Minister for Internet Safety and Security, stressed the importance of international cooperation, saying that today’s generation is more immersed in internet use and technology than others and more attention and care to the security of this space is needed.
Fatoumata Ndiaye, UNICEF Representative, said: “It is ironic that the same tools used for the progress of science and knowledge are the ones that also challenge and threaten our children by weak-minded people.” She pointed out that exploitation and abuse comes mostly from people close to the child, with a small number of these cases being reported.
Saif bin Zayed Inaugurates Hotline
HH Sheikh Saif inaugurated the 116111 hotline; which facilitates the ability to report child abuse cases via the “Hemayati” smartphone application.
Zayed and Mariam participated in introducing the guests of the event, with Zayed standing next to HH Sheikh Saif bin Zayed throughout his speech.
Arab and International Tributes
Ana Helena Chacón Echeverría, 2nd Vice President of Costa Rica, praised the efforts and partnership of the UAE; also recognizing its capability to protect all community segments. She asserted that her country looks forward to working with the MoI in a full partnership framework.
Salameh Hammad, Jordanian Minister of Interior, stressed the importance of organizing this summit in an Arab country, and expressed his gratitude for the opportunity for participants to exchange experiences.
His Royal Highness Prince Dr. Bandar bin Abdullah Al-Mishari Al-Saud, Assistant Minister of Interior for Technology Affairs, praised the successful efforts of the UAE in organizing the summit and thanked the MoI for providing the opportunity for regional countries to exchange expertise regarding information security and cyberspace.
Facebook Praises Abu Dhabi Summit
According to Antigone Davis, Facebook's Head of Global Safety, the summit was a great opportunity to bring together a large number of international organizations, governmental institutions and technology firms to discuss ways to enhance child protection against online dangers. “The valuable cooperation with the UAE MoI is a leading model for international best practices in this field,” she said.
Davis said that she looks forward to further enhancing cooperation; and that Facebook is committed to attracting the best practices and to transferring knowledge by implementing the ‘Open Source Safety’ initiative.
Google: Abu Dhabi Hosts Historic Summit
Susan Molinari, Google's Vice President of Public Policy and Government Relations, regarded the summit as both historic and the perfect opportunity to collaborate and brainstorm innovative ideas.
She announced that through the Online Safety Center, Google cooperates with tech industry partners worldwide; and that the latest upgrades have prevented users from accessing or searching for links of sexual child abuse and exploitation material.
For more information about:
The Ministry of Interior, please click HERE
Abu Dhabi Police, please click HERE
*Source: ME NewsWire
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