Islamabad, 22 June 2022 (TDI): Pakistan took a lead role, in the United Nations has formed a Group of Friends (GOF) on countering disinformation for the protection and promotion of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedom.

This is a follow-up after the United Nations Human Rights Council adopted the Pakistan-sponsored historic resolution 76/227 on countering the impact of disinformation on 1 April 2022.

The resolution highlighted that disinformation is a threat to democracy, suppressing political engagement, deepening distrust in democratic institutions, and besides this,  hindering the realization of informed participation in political and public affairs.

About the Launch Event

The launch of Group Of Friends initially comprised twenty countries and the launch event will take place at the UN in New York on Thursday, 23 June 2022. This will be the first meeting of this group.

Munir Akram, Permanent Representative of Pakistan in the United Nations firstly, will focus on a global approach to counter disinformation.

After that, he will explain that disinformation is a disease that has affected the entire world, and further, Pakistan has been a major victim of disinformation.

In addition, Foreign Minister of Pakistan Bilawal Bhutto Zardari will be a keynote speaker and deliver his recorded statement at the beginning of the statement.

Pakistan’s envoy to UN Munir Akram will give the opening and the closing remarks.

Under Secretary-General Melissa Fleming, Dept. High Commissioner for Human Rights Nada Youssef Al Nashif, Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Opinion  Irene Khan as well as, Chair Committee of Information Cristian Espinosa, and Representatives of UNDP, OHCHR, ITU, and UNESCO will also share their remarks at the event.

The participants will cover the legal and normative aspects of countering disinformation.

These aspects include the role and impact of policy measures and a range of tools employed and moreover, including awareness-raising campaigns in countering disinformation on an international level.

The participants will also highlight how multilateral institutions can help member states in countering disinformation and in addition to this, developing a global response based on consensus.

In conclusion, this will also include the proposal of the Secretary-General in Our Common Agenda report developing a global code of conduct that promotes integrity in public information and social media regulation.