Latvian-initiated global call to combat the “infodemic” in the context of COVID-19 is endorsed by 130 countries
Acting on an initiative inspired by Latvia and prepared by 12 other co-authors (Australia, Chile, France, Georgia, India, Indonesia, Lebanon, Mauritius, Mexico, Norway, Senegal and South Africa) 130 countries of the United Nations Organization (UN) have delivered a cross-regional statement on countering widespread disinformation, in other words, fighting the “infodemic”, in the context of the COVID-19 health crisis.
The statement now released points to the clear role and responsibility of states, regional organizations, the UN system and other stakeholders – such as the mass media, social media platforms and NGOs – in helping people to deal with disinformation and misinformation and increase societal resilience.
The COVID-19 crisis has demonstrated that access to free, trustworthy, science-based information is of crucial importance. States are called upon to take action to fight the spread of disinformation, and do what it takes so that their residents can have available to them factual and accurate information from reliable sources on COVID-19. The statement underlines the significance of freedom of expression including that of the press, and it highlights the need to protect and ensure the safety of journalists and other media workers.
The fight against disinformation has been a long-standing priority for Latvia both in bilateral cooperation and in multilateral fora.