Pakistan urges international regulatory framework to stop spread of disinformation


UNITED NATIONS, Sep 28 (APP):Pakistan Monday underscored the need for establishing a balance between freedom of expression and preventing disinformation, saying the international community must come together to build mechanisms to counter fake news.

“Pakistan is committed to counter disinformation,” Federal Information and Broadcasting Minister, Fawad Chaudhry told a side-event on ‘Promoting Transparency to Counter Disinformation and Build Trust’, held on the margins of the 76th session of United Nations General Assembly in New York.

Sustained efforts were required for countering disinformation online and offline, including formulation of an international regulatory framework for monitoring and oversight, the information minister said.

Fawad Chaudhry’s statement was delivered by Mariam Shaikh, press counselor at the Pakistan Mission to the UN.

Monday’s event highlighted key learnings, shared considerations, best practices, and recommendations that emerged out of the inter-agency work (throughout the UN system) over the past 12 months.

It’s Organizers were: Office of the Envoy on Technology, UN Department of Global Communications, UNESCO, WHO, UNDP and UN Global Pulse.

Melissa Fleming, the Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications moderated the event.
In his remarks, Fawad Chaudhry said the proliferation of disinformation is exacerbating social discord, nationalism, discrimination, hate speech, stigmatization, racism, xenophobia,

Islamophobia and related intolerances as well as dissemination of fake cures and anti-vaccine conspiracies.

While the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) have empowered individuals, communities and societies, they have also enabled pathways for false or manipulated information or disinformation to be created, disseminated and amplified for political, ideological or commercial motives, he said.

“This Infodemic has affirmed that freedom of expression is not only a right but a shared responsibility ….,” the information minister said.

“It is imperative to establish a balance between freedom of expression and preventing disinformation.”

In a bid to advance “our objectives” to fight disinformation, Fawad Chaudhry said that Pakistan will table a resolution, entitled “Countering Disinformation and Promotion and Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms,” in the Assembly’s current 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,” he added, while seeking support for the text.

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