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Joint Statement on Disinformation
At the 52nd Session of the Human Rights Council
March 17, 2023

The United States Joined the Following Joint Statement at the 52nd Session of the Human Rights Council

Joint Statement on Disinformation

As Delivered by Delivered by H.E. Ms Yevheniia Filipenko, Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the United Nations Office and other International Organizations in Geneva

General Debate Under Item 3

Joint Statement on behalf of Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Ukraine, United Kingdom and the United States of America

Thank you, Mr President,

I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the core group on the role of States in countering the negative impact of disinformation on the enjoyment and realization of human rights – Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, United Kingdom, the United States of America and my own country Ukraine.

We welcome the High Commissioner’s report on the High-level panel discussion on countering the negative impact of disinformation that took place during the 50th session of the Council pursuant to HRC resolution 49/21.

The report reaffirmed that disinformation is a global phenomenon that has a range of harmful consequences. Over time, it undermines social trust and has far-reaching ramifications for politics, security and economics. Even more alarming, the well-designed false narratives can be used to weaponize information to destabilize societies and set the stage for potential military action. A case-study of this is Russia’s use of disinformation to support its unprovoked full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. Russia continues to cynically deploy disinformation as propaganda to try and justify its ongoing aggression against Ukraine.

Efforts to counter disinformation should be firmly grounded in the international human rights law and should not be used as a pretext to restrict human rights, close civic space or justify censorship or Internet shutdowns.

Disinformation thrives where civic space is limited and the free flow of information and debate are restricted. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure access to diverse and reliable sources of information and strengthen the resilience of societies, independent media and professional journalism, as well as enhance digital, media and information literacy.

We believe that disinformation and its effects on human rights deserve the continuous attention of the Human Rights Council. Therefore, our countries will continue to focus on this topic, including by presenting an updated resolution on disinformation next year.