NEW YORK: Pakistan has urged the international community to come together to build mechanisms to counter misinformation, the state-run APP news agency reported on Tuesday, quoting a statement by the Pakistani information minister.
Addressing a side-event on the margins of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, Information Minister Chaudhry Fawad Hussain said while the increasing use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) had empowered individuals and communities, it had also enabled pathways for disinformation for “political, ideological or commercial motives.”
“This Infodemic has affirmed that freedom of expression is not only a right but a shared responsibility ….,” Hussain said at an event titled ‘Promoting Transparency to Counter Disinformation and Build Trust’. “It is imperative to establish a balance between freedom of expression and preventing disinformation.”
He said sustained effort was required to counter disinformation online and offline, including making an international regulatory framework for monitoring and oversight.
The event, which was moderated by Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications Melissa Fleming, highlighted key learnings, shared considerations, best practices, and recommendations that have emerged from inter-agency work (throughout the UN system) over the last one year.
Hussain said the proliferation of disinformation was increasing social discord, nationalism, discrimination, hate speech, stigmatization, racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia and related intolerances as well as unleashing fake cures and anti-vaccine conspiracies in the era of the coronavirus pandemic.
In a bid to advance the objective to fight disinformation, the minister said Pakistan would table a resolution, titled “Countering Disinformation and Promotion and Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms,” during the ongoing UNGA’s session.
“The adoption of such a resolution will contribute to promoting transparency and the initiation of a concerted campaign to counter disinformation, build trust and enhance enjoyment of the right to freedom of expression,” Hussain said. (Arab News)
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