Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. And we thank you and the bureau for convening this debate and for all the work you are doing to bring us together to discuss this very important information issue.

Indeed, information and communication are crucial – they shape what people know, what they believe in, and often how people act. And it’s important that we recognize that. Celebrating yesterday’s World Press Freedom Day, more than ever, we know the importance of verified information and reporting facts as fundamental building blocks of free societies.

Indeed, we know that good journalism and the freedom to report news accurately and without fear are crucial for good governance and, in turn, for the realization of the ideals of the Charter. Conversely, we know that the rights and responsibilities set out in the Charter are dying in those states where the truth is obscured by state propaganda and where media freedoms are denied.

Mr. Chairman, we pay tribute to the Under-Secretary-General for her leadership and the Department’s Innovation in response to the complex communication challenges we face. We recently discussed this well at our special workshop. We look forward to their guidance on new initiatives such as the Global Code of Conduct and Integrity in Public Information, two important projects. The intensification of cooperation, which was announced again this year, goes hand in hand with the growing global demand for accurate, impartial and complete information on the world’s most pressing issues. Now more than ever, people are looking to the UN as a source of reliable information.

We also want to support those in this room who have called for effective multilingualism in this work, as our Armenian counterpart has just so skillfully demonstrated. UN reports prove that it can cause problems of misinformation and misinformation around the pandemic and discourse around climate change, and we welcome the work they have done in this area. There is now an opportunity and a need to expand these efforts to combat misinformation about crises and conflicts.

This Committee is committed to ensuring that our Department of Information instructions are prepared to accurately challenge misinformation and reflect the reality on the ground in 2022. At stake are nothing but the basic principles of the Charter.

Yesterday our Russian colleague, responding to the statement of another colleague in the hall, told us that what is happening in Ukraine, and communication around it, is not the business of this Committee. And in fact he read us the language from our mandate, and I just want to read what he said. He said: “I would like to remind the delegates and colleagues who support these delegates that the Committee’s constituent documents, which we discussed today, state that its priority objectives are to promote a more effective and lasting world order in the field of information. and communications that will inform the world and international understanding, etc. ”

It is not surprising, Mr. Chairman, that while reading this mandate, our Russian colleague missed a key part of this mandate when he read it to us, because, in fact, it says that “a more effective world order of information and communication is intended.” to strengthen peace and international understanding. ” He dropped this phrase, and he dropped it because, as we know, our Russian colleagues like to bend the truth and adjust it to their goals.

Therefore, Mr. Chairman, we will raise the behavior of Russia and communications around its invasion of Ukraine, because we believe that its behavior in this area testifies to its broader approach in communications and is important for the work of this committee, because after the start of illegal war in Ukraine, the Kremlin’s propaganda machine, was interrupted. They used hostile information operations to undermine Ukraine’s sovereignty, create false grounds for invasion, obscure the truth and hide war crimes.

And this attack on the truth has global consequences, because Russian disinformation operations threaten to undermine public confidence in the media and public and international institutions.

Let’s look at the facts, because Putin wants the truth to be another victim of this conflict. The Russian government has stated that it will not invade Ukraine. They invaded Ukraine. They said they would not focus on civilian infrastructure. They ruthlessly attacked residential neighborhoods, schools, hospitals – we saw it with our own eyes. The Security Council told us that Ukraine has developed bio-weapons against bats, birds and lice. The UN has told us that there is no evidence of this. The Russians said they would not harm civilians. However, we see strong evidence of war crimes, including reports of mass burials and horrific atrocities in Bucha. And our Russian colleague, who spoke today, even used the cases of the Security Council’s media to broadcast accusations through his own channels that the UN was spreading misinformation about the attack on the maternity hospital in Mariupol. We all know the horrible truth about what happened to that hospital.

Mr. Chairman, today’s Russian statement was typical of its broader communication technology. There were insinuations in it, but no facts. Now we all need to confront it. And this week, a UK-funded study uncovered a large-scale Russian disinformation operation using a so-called “troll factory” that pays for spreading lies on social media and in commentary sections on news sites and social media platforms, including Telegram and Twitter. , Facebook and Tik Tok. Targets included audiences in the UK as well as South Africa and India, as well as accounts of various world leaders on social media. We have warned about this platforms of social networks and international partners.

Our Russian colleague complains about these social networks. Well, there is a reason that they cannot be broadcast on these platforms. This is because they have standards. For the same reason, in the UK, our organization, which is independent of the government, has revoked its license to broadcast RT. It’s not because we don’t like what RT says, it’s because their standards of truth fall below an acceptable standard. And I think everyone who has seen the news broadcast in the UK knows that our tolerance levels are quite high. So the troll factory is just one example, one of many.

Russia’s hostile information actions are openly destabilizing the international order, especially with regard to the media and information. We need to take action to counter this. This is important because if they succeed, then we will fail.

Thus, it is our goal, Chairman, that through the work of this committee, DG Comms leadership and collaboration with partners and key platforms we can organize a strong international response to disinformation and preserve space for impartial and accurate reporting of real threats and common challenges. was founded by the UN.

Mr. Chairman, the very integrity of this organization is less and less at risk.

Thank you.

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