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Statement by Italy on the occasion of the Closing Plenary Meeting of the Committee on Information

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Mr. Chair, [Madam Under-Secretary-General],

Distinguished Representatives of the DGC,

Dear colleagues and friends,

Italy aligns itself with the Statement delivered by the European Union on behalf of its Member States and would like to add some additional remarks in its national capacity.

It’s been an honor to serve as Vice Chair of the Board of this Committee for 2 years, together with fellow representatives from Pakistan, Latvia, Madagascar and El Salvador.

Throughout this time, our ultimate goal has been that of rendering the DGC “fit for purpose” in the face of new trends and challenges emerging in the sphere of public information.

We especially welcome with satisfaction that Artificial Intelligence is now clearly mentioned in the text of the annual resolution B, with both its risks and opportunities outlined. We hope that AI’s role as a tool in the fight against misinformation and disinformation, could be further explored by the United Nations and within the United Nations, none the least by this very Committee.

We are also pleased that the resolution now gives the Secretary-General the mandate to assess best practices and challenges in tackling misinformation, disinformation and information manipulation.

In this respect, the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs launched a compelling awareness campaign on May 14 entitled “Free from Disinformation,” on the risks related to disinformation in the run-up to the European elections, aimed at providing some definitions, data or factual elements that can help users/voters to take a critical approach. The campaign features also a series of “United against Disinformation” videos broadcast also on the Italian television that have received 850 million views and is considered by now a best practice in Europe. We are ready to share more on this successful experience in this crucial year, when more than 60 elections will be taking place globally, with more than 4 billion citizens at the ballot box.

Mr. Chair, [Madam Under-Secretary-General], distinguished representatives of the DGC, colleagues,

This year’s negotiations of the Committee on Information have been particularly challenging, with a concrete risk of a vote for the first time after 37 years of unbroken consensus. Today’s consensual adoption of the two resolutions is therefore a reassuring achievement and a victory of multilateralism, but at the same time a lesson to be kept in mind for the future.

This result was made possible by a tireless engagement of all parties, which I would like, once again, to thank: the G77, who presented the Zero Draft, the facilitator, our colleague from Bangladesh, who spared no effort to bolster dialogue and mutual understanding, and the Secretariat that never failed to provide support whenever needed.

Finally, Mr Chair, distinguished colleagues, Italy wishes all the best to the new upcoming CoI’s board. Please count on Italy’s continuous support and engagement in this pivotal Committee.

Thank you.