About 65 UNESCO member country, both physically and virtually have adopted a 10-page document titled “Abuja Declaration on Global Financing for Media and Information Literacy: An Imperative to Fight Against Disinformation and Build Trust” at the 2022 UNESCO Global Media and Information Literacy Week which ended on Friday in Abuja.
Speaking on the Declaration read by Mr Alton Grizzie, Programme Specialist Communication and Information, UNESCO, Antonio Guterres charged all UN member-states to formulate policies that would make the Abuja Declaration workable.
According to him, the global funding of MIL was imperative considering the crisis that followed COVID-19 pandemic globally owing to parallel misinformation and disinformation.
In a similar vein, the Dr Tawfik Jelasi, Assistant Director-General Communication and Information, UNESCO said the Abuja Declaration was an inclusive document and no nation should be left out in its implementation.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed for his part said the document would greatly accelerate the fight against disinformation and help to build trust.
He urged development partners, multilateral organisations and all countries to commit to supporting and funding the initiative, which he said would ultimately make the world a safer and more peaceful place to live.
Alhaji Mohammed hailed the security forces, adding that, 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
“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.
Alhaji Mohammed re-echoed the collective conviction of speakers and contributors at the various sessions of the MIL week, which is that the development of Media and Information Literacy (MIL) is 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.
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