Expert Panel Event: Safeguarding the Metaverse from Terrorism and Violent Extremism

Eric Guedegbe
Eric Guedegbe
Event date 28 Nov '22 15:00 - 17:00 (CET)
Event location Online event

The metaverse has recently come to the forefront of the world’s attention as the next development when it comes to the interaction of the virtual and physical worlds. The result of technological developments in the fields of blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, and Extended Reality (XR), the metaverse will be a persistent and interactive experience composed of interconnected 3D environments that can be manipulated by the user and are accessible in real-time. As more aspects of everyday life are integrated into the metaverse, several features of this technology hold the potential to be exploited by terrorists and violent extremists. With this in mind, UNOCT is seeking to raise awareness on the need to prevent and counter the threat of potential misuse of the metaverse in a gender-responsive and human rights compliant manner, by tapping into the discussion, outcomes and recommendations of previous events held as part of the Series on Protecting Digital Spaces, notably on the use of Video Games by Violent Extremists and the application of Augmented and Virtual Reality in Countering Terrorism and Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism (CT and P/CVE) work, and by furthering research and dialogue on the metaverse. UNOCT will bring together a geographically diverse and gender balanced group of CT and P/CVE stakeholders from the public and private sectors, civil society organizations, think tanks and academia, as well as leading innovators in the field of XR technologies to raise awareness and exchange information on innovative and cutting-edge solutions and recommendations on the need to prevent and counter the threat of potential misuse of the metaverse, and to ensure interoperability, inclusiveness and safety on this platform. 

Opening remarks will be delivered by Dr. Raffi Gregorian, Director of UNOCT and Deputy to the Under-Secretary-General, followed by the subsequent three panel discussions. The first session will focus on “Setting the Stage: Defining the Metaverse, Understanding its Origin, its Role and Current Use”. The second session will discuss “Possible Risks of Terrorist Misuse and Identifying Safeguards in the Metaverse”. The third and final session will discuss “Exploring Opportunities for CT/PCVE in the Metaverse”. The sessions will include speakers from across sectors of society, in line with UNOCT’s commitment to a whole-of-society approach to its CT and P/CVE initiatives.

The event will conclude with a question-and-answer session, where participants will be welcomed to share their experiences and pose questions to guest speakers, followed by closing remarks made by Mr. Mauro Miedico, Deputy Director & Chief of Special Projects and Innovation Branch, United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism.