Bilawal urges UN to establish task force for curbing fake news

Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari has called upon the UN secretary general to establish an inter-agency task force for combating and enhancing public awareness about disinformation to build societal resistance and resilience against it.

Addressing a virtual meeting of the Group of Friends on Thursday, he also urged the UN to appoint a focal person on disinformation for interactions with member states, the private media and online companies and other stakeholders.

The foreign minister urged the international community to enhance the capacity of the governments and their relevant institutions to detect, analyse and expose disinformation, reported Radio Pakistan.

FM Bilawal said financial and technical support should be extended to national and international researchers, and institutions which are involved in detecting disinformation.

He said the UN Department of Information can play a critical role in this regard, stressing that concrete international efforts can help expose and dismantle disinformation networks.

He also called for concerted efforts through cooperation to minimise the negative impacts of disinformation on human rights and relations between community and states.

Also read: Govt to ‘amend’ PEMRA laws to curb fake news

The foreign minister suggested that the UN human rights mechanism should highlight the negative impact of disinformation.

He urged the UN to develop rules, standards and regulations for adherence by the private sector, social media companies and other non-governmental actors.

Bilawal said the UN can develop a compendium of “best practices” and guidelines for actions, including through the use of advanced technologies, such as artificial intelligence to serve as guidelines for national and international actions.

He said the exponential proliferation of disinformation, especially through online platforms and social media, has spread social discord and fostered hate speech, racism, discrimination, xenophobia and Islamophobia.

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