UNESCO: Stakeholders adopt Abuja declaration to tackle fake news
Solomon Chung, Abuja
The 193 member states of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural organisation, UNESCO have unanimously adopted the Abuja declaration that preferred global funding of Media and Information Literacy as a remedy to tackle fake news, disinformation and misinformation.
The adoption of the Abuja declaration was done during the closing of the 2022 UNESCO Global Media and Information Literacy week which took place on Friday in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital
#GlobalMILWeek2022 #UNESCO #Media #InformationLiteracy #AbujaDeclaration
Day 5 (Friday, Oct. 28)
The Abuja Declaration. Mr. Grizzle Alton, Programme Specialist, Section for Media and Information Literacy and Media Development, UNESCO, leading. pic.twitter.com/bPzMXn5FPy
— Voice of Nigeria (@voiceofnigeria) October 28, 2022
This was part of the concerted strategy by UNESCO to fight the global rise and menace of irresponsible use of social media which gives rise to fake news, hate speech among others.
The Nigerian Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, said the successful hosting of the UNESCO Global Media and Information Literacy Week 2022 in Nigeria is a testament to the great efforts of the nation’s security forces in keeping residents of the capital city, and indeed Nigeria, safe.
“The huge success of the 2022 Global MIL Week in Abuja, coupled with the first hand experience of our guests from all over the world, is a clear testimony to the organizational ability and warmth of our people. The successful hosting of an international event, in a week marked by petrifying terror alerts, is also a testament to the great efforts of our security forces in keeping residents of our capital city, and indeed our country, safe, despite the antics of terrorists who are continually plotting to destabilise our nation’s peace and security.
“Thanks to the sacrifice of our men and women in uniform, our country will be progressively safe and secure, for citizens and non-citizens alike,” he said.
Mohammed re-echoed the collective conviction of stakeholders at the various sessions of the MIL week, which is the development of Media and Information Literacy as a panacea for the fight against all forms of disinformation and the building of trust.
“It is also very clear that the trust question, which this year’s Global MIL Week dealt with, is indeed of global concern. Given the frightening dimension of the impact of the surge of disinformation across the globe on the relationships between the government and the governed, institutions, communities, religious organizations, etc., there is the need to forge a common front to confront this menace by advancing a global funding to deal with the issue of disinformation,” he said.
According to the Minister, Nigeria is committed to promoting the right Media and Information Literacy policies and programmes that will enhance the development of the capacities of citizens, particularly the youths, in the effective use of Media and Information Literacy.
He also stated the commitment of the country to work with global body to establish a UNESCO International MIL institute in Nigeria, adding that Nigeria is looking forward to receiving the necessary assistance in this regard.
Mohammed urged development partners, multilateral organizations and all countries to commit to supporting and funding the initiative, which will ultimately make the world a safer and more peaceful place to live.
He congratulated participants for a successful conference and wished everyone a successful journey back to their destinations.
“To all our guests, I hope you have truly enjoyed yourselves in Abuja and that you are going away with sweet memories of the hospitality and the friendliness of our people. I was at the gala night a few meters from here yesterday, and I was delighted and enthralled by the sheer joy and the impressive dance steps of our guests, as our National Troupe put up a superlative performance. It was a fitting climax to a great and successful MIL Week, and I wish to commend everyone who has contributed immensely to this successful Week,” the Minister added.