The International Partnership for Information and Democracy responds to the need to promote an environment conducive to reliable information for citizens, in order to enable them to forge an informed opinion in a context where large-scale online misinformation is sapping trust in institutions and democratic processes, where private stakeholders outside the democratic framework hold increasing sway, where professional journalism is weakened and where political control over the media persists in many countries.
The International Partnership for Information and Democracy was launched in New York on 26 September 2019. Signed by 47 States representing all the regions to date, this text lays down the principles and objectives to promote access to reliable information. The signatory States commit to promoting national and international legal frameworks encouraging freedom of opinion and expression and access to reliable information. They invite businesses that play key roles in international news and communication to respect principles of transparency, responsibility and neutrality and to ensure that their activities are compatible with human rights in order to promote reliable information.
At the instigation of Reporters Without Borders and a coalition of independent organizations, a Stakeholder Forum was launched during the second Paris Peace Forum in November 2019 to support the implementation of the Partnership by drawing up recommendations. The Forum on Information and Democracy published a first report on how to end infodemics (November 2020), a report on the economic sustainability of journalism (June 2021), and a report on an accountability regime for social media outlets and their users (September 2022).
While she was in New York at the United Nations General Assembly from 19 to 23 September 2022, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Catherine Colonna chaired the second Summit for Information and Democracy, with Reporters Without Borders, on 22 September 2022.
The COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine have underlined the challenges that face the global information and communication space, including manipulation campaigns spread by propaganda bodies, the proliferation of misinformation about vaccines on social media, drastic restrictions on press freedoms and the need to strengthen the sustainability of journalism.
At this second ministerial Summit for Information and Democracy, participants were able to:
- Take stock of efforts to tackle the proliferation of misinformation, sharing information on the legislation in the Partnership’s signatory States and encouraging the development of self-regulation practices by the private sector and civil society. Eleven States, including France, committed to supporting the Journalism Trust Initiative, an independent and transparent certification initiative aiming to promote media outlets adhering to ethical and independence rules;
- Talk about the means to ensure the economic sustainability of independent media;
- Present the International Observatory on Information and Democracy project. Modelled after the IPCC, the Observatory will be responsible for assessing developments in the global information space and publishing a regular report for the Partnership’s signatory States and civil society;
- Announce the latest signatory States of the International Partnership for Information and Democracy.
List of participants (as of 29 September 2022):
Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Benin, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Iceland, India, Italy, Latvia, Lebanon, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Senegal, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tunisia, Uruguay, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Updated: September 2022