Joint statement of Roch Marc Christian Kaboré (Burkina Faso), Justin Trudeau (Canada), Carlos Alvarado (Costa Rica), Lars Lokke Rasmussen (Denmark), Emmanuel Macron (France), Raimonds Vējonis (Latvia), Saad Hariri (Lebanon), Dalia Grybauskaitè (Lithuania), Erna Solberg (Norway), Macky Sall (Senegal), Alain Berset (Switzerland), Beji Caid Essebsi (Tunisia)
The Heads of State or Government of Burkina Faso, Canada, Costa Rica, Denmark, France, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Norway, Senegal, Switzerland and Tunisia commend the work of the international independent Information and Democracy Commission initiated by the organization Reporters Without Borders, which has presented today, 11 November 2018, the results of this work at the Paris Peace Forum. This Commission, initiated by Reporters without Borders, proposes, in its declaration published on 5 November 2018, that the global information and communication space be acknowledged as a common good of humankind, where freedom, pluralism and integrity of information must be guaranteed.
The commission underlines that actors in a position to shape this global space have responsibilities, especially in terms of political and ideological neutrality, pluralism, and accountability. It also calls for the acknowledgement that individuals have the right, not only to independent and pluralistic information, but also to reliable information, which is a necessary condition for them to freely form an opinion, and participate in a valuable way to the democratic debate.
Concerned that professional journalism has become more fragile, and that disinformation online continues to spread, both of which upset the functioning of our democracies, preoccupied that political control of the media remains in many countries and that freedom of the press continues to be threatened, as well as the subjugation of information to commercial interests, the Heads of State or Government of Burkina Faso, Canada, Costa Rica, Denmark, France, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Norway, Senegal, Switzerland and Tunisia have decided to launch an initiative for information and democracy, inspired by the principles of this declaration.
Seventy years after the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, they will renew, through this initiative that will remain open to support by further governments, their commitment towards the right to exercise freedom of opinion and expression, and define the objectives to be pursued in order to achieve the full realization of these freedoms in the technological and political context of the 21st century.