German Statement in the Committee on Information, 29 April 2024

Committee on Information

Committee on Information, © Germany UN

30.04.2024 - Speech

The statement was delivered by Holger Dreiseit, Spokesperson.

Germany fully aligns with the statement delivered by the representative of the European Union, also on behalf of the EU member states.

Distinguished Chair, Colleagues,

Joining the many colleagues before me, I thank the Chair and the Bureau members for their stewardship over this Committee, as well as the colleagues from the COI Secretariat for their valuable work. I welcome ethe new Committee members Haiti and Uganda.

It was most rewarding to listen to Under-Secretary-General Fleming as well as to study the reports of the Secretary-General on the activities of the Department of Global Communication. I congratulate the DGC and all colleagues worldwide in the UN system who are communicating and explaining the infinite depths of the U.N.-iverse for their remarkable efforts and successes. I wish to honor in particular the UN’s outreach programme to commemorate the Holocaust.

Rest assured that Germany will remain firmly at your side as a partner to help get the “messages out”, to all of our citizens, in a truthful, understandable and multilingual manner.

In my statement, let me briefly touch upon three concerns:

· The fight against mis- and disinformation

· The protection of journalists

· The Summit of the Future


As this Committee’s resolution rightfully states: It is the responsibility of DGC, as it is the responsibility of all of us – as communicators – to disseminate credible, transparent and fact-based information [OP41]. Crises, conflicts and wars are taking a painful toll on millions of people; political tensions and individual emotions are heating up. This makes it all the more difficult for the U.N. news and editorial teams to remain impartial and balanced in their reporting and messaging. Yet, it is essential. To be clear, this is obviously not the U.N.’s responsibility alone. We must all come together to counter the growing wave of information manipulation and opinion polarization.

Every day, we see that disinformation and hate speech, often deliberately and maliciously spread for political purposes, pose a very real risk to many people working in UN operations and missions around the world. We are proud that Germany is, through voluntary contributions, a reliable supporter of the Department of Peace Operations in its work to address dis- and misinformation in peacekeeping settings.

From a German and European perspective, it is currently a priority to protect the elections for the European Parliament, which will take place during the session of this Committee, from illegitimate foreign influence and manipulation. We must assume that foreign states are actively trying to use information manipulation to sow social discord and to discredit persons or groups in the context of these democratic elections.

I would also like to point out that since the beginning of Russia's attack on Ukraine, Germany has seen an increase in politically motivated hacking and large-scale social media campaigns carried out by large bot networks aimed at undermining German support for Ukraine. But let me be clear here: We will stand by Ukraine for as long as it takes. And we denounce Russia’s practice to abuse not only media, digital and traditional ones, for disseminating disinformation and malinformation in our societies, but also to spread war propaganda here amongst us, in UN bodies, be it in the UN Security Council, the General Assembly or the Committee on Information.

Defending a healthy information environment is one of the most pressing and complex challenges of our time. DGC, the UN Information Centres, and communication units in other parts of the UN system can and should play a central role in leading and shaping our efforts to promote information integrity, guided by the U.N. Charter, human rights and the Sustainable Development Goals.

We encourage DGC to make best use of an independent review for a holistic assessment of how to strengthen and complement capacities on information integrity across the UN system.

Like many other delegations, Germany looks forward to the new UN Global Principles on Information Integrity. I would like to underline our willingness to contribute to the implementation of the Global Principles into tangible results and improvements, once the Global Principles will have been published.

Let me briefly mention that in May, as part of the Protection of Civilians Week, we will co-host a relevant event with Brazil and Morocco and many other partners on the harmful effect of misinformation, disinformation and hate speech on civilians.


On May 3rd, while this Committee is in session, we will celebrate international Press Freedom Day. Independent professional journalism is a bedrock of democracy. Journalists contribute to pluralistic debates, in which also weaker parties and vulnerable groups can be heard.

In 2024, Germany co-chairs the Media Freedom Coalition, together with Estonia. The Media Freedom Coalition brings together 50 states, many civil society organizations and legal experts as well as UNESCO to work together for press and media freedom. As part of our co-chairmanship, we invite even more countries from all regions to join the network.

Let me conclude by referring to “the once-in-a-generation moment happening in September” as the Secretary-General aptly put it: The Summit of the Future is not only this year’s key event for multilateralism. It also provides an excellent platform to reach a global audience. We are grateful for the dedication of DGC in developing and launching the campaign #OurCommon Future. I encourage all delegations to embrace this Summit as our collective opportunity to demonstrate and communicate to our citizens that multilateral solutions are possible and necessary for a better tomorrow.

Thank you.

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