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UNGA unanimously adopts Pakistan’s resolution on countering disinformation

NEW YORK: Pakistan-sponsored resolution entitled “Countering Disinformation for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms” was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in New York by consensus.

Pakistan took the initiative against the backdrop of exponential proliferation of disinformation around the world. The phenomenon is exacerbating social discord and fanning discrimination, hate speech, stigmatization, racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia and related intolerances.

The resolution was the outcome of broad-based and extensive consultations with all member states, and was cosponsored by a large number of states.

The consensual adoption of the resolution will contribute to promoting transparency and initiating of a concerted campaign at the United Nations to counter disinformation by States and relevant stakeholders.

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The resolution highlights the negative impact of the rapid spread of disinformation through online platforms and social media on the enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms.

It notes with concern that ICTs have enabled pathways for false or manipulated disinformation to be created, disseminated and amplified for political, ideological, or commercial motives at an unprecedented scale, speed and scope.

Business enterprises including online platforms and social media companies have been asked not to allow their platforms to be used for spreading disinformation, which leads to discrimination, incitement to hatred, hostility, violence, and polarization.

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The resolution calls on them to adopt clear and transparent content and advertising policies on countering disinformation that are in line with international human rights law.

The resolution also affirms the responsibility of States to counter dissemination of disinformation that undermines promotion of peace and cooperation among states, especially through campaigns directed against states and nations.

In this regard, it welcomes the efforts of the UN Secretary-General to promote international cooperation for countering disinformation and his call for a “global code of conduct that promotes integrity in public information.”

The Ministry of Foreign Affair in Islamabad said that as a victim of falsehood and propaganda, Pakistan remains committed to countering the virus of disinformation.

“It will continue to do this through encouraging international cooperation, including under the auspices of the United Nations,” the ministry said.

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