I wish to convey our pleasure and support n your Chairmanship.
The Philippines associates itself with the statement made by Pakistan on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
We welcome Djibouti and Malaysia as our newest members of the Committee and thank Under-Secretary-General Fleming for her comprehensive presentation yesterday.
Information is making a tremendous impact on our world.
A deeply connected world has created a global landscape that presents many opportunities for cooperation, empowerment and progress, while at the same time causing complications that could curtail freedoms and hinder development.
We must work to ensure that a connected world promotes harmony instead of discord, especially in the context of a pandemic and the corresponding infodemic.
The challenges to the Department of Global Communications or DGC have never been greater in a continuing pandemic environment.
The Department continues to position UN content as a source for authoritative, factual, neutral, trusted information issued for the global public good. It also continues to expand its efforts to combat misinformation in other areas such as climate change and hate speech.
The UN Global Communications Strategy depicts the Organization serving as a platform “to point out what is going right, what is possible, and how the UN and its Member States are making a difference.”
We appreciate the DGC’s consistent effort in “leveraging the power and influence of the media to create awareness and inspire action.” We also appreciate the Committee and the DGC’s policy consistency and coherence in championing the value of multilingualism.
The Philippines submits the following points:
- First, the Philippines continues to support the UN Department of Global Communications (DGC) as a “responsible messenger” of the UN, whose aim is to provide accurate, reliable and timely information.
We therefore commend the UN’s ‘Pause’ campaign, “which encourages social media and other news consumers to stop and check the validity of information they share, for encouraging the behavioral change needed to stop the spread of misinformation online.”
Under “Our Common Agenda,” we also take note of the Secretary-General’s proposal on a global code of conduct that promotes integrity in public information. We wish to know more details on this proposal from the DGC.
- Second, we support the continued work of the Committee and the DGC in sharing vetted information about the COVID-19 pandemic, and the UN system response to it, to counter the proliferation of misinformation and disinformation on this issue.
- Third, Member States and Observers, in partnership with key stakeholders such as civil society, women and youth, the private sector and the media, should continue to responsibly harness the power of information to promote peace, inclusivity and development against the backdrop of increasing political cleavages, social inequalities and macroeconomic fragilities.
- Fourth, any information released by the UN and its agencies should be properly triangulated, including giving Member States the opportunity to provide their side.
This is in view of some instances where certain inaccuracies are encountered when information, from third parties and various sources, is not sufficiently vetted and substantiated. This situation generates a negative impact on Member States.
Given concerns about misinformation and the “post-truth era,” it is crucial that information is carefully triangulated and substantiated to promote and ensure transparency and impartiality.
- Finally, whether through national ownership or community-driven initiatives, the core task of information is to provide a platform of opportunities to effect transformational change and to achieve our collective aspiration of leaving no one behind.
Let us continue to work together in strengthening our Organization by effectively managing the transformative power of information.
I thank you.