The Information and Democracy Partnership 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 several countries.
Drawing from the work of the International Commission created by Reporters Without Borders, France launched an initiative calling for States to take action at the first Paris Peace Forum together with 11 partners (Burkina Faso, Canada, Costa Rica, Denmark, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Norway, Senegal, Switzerland, Turkey). A text, entitled “Information and Democracy Partnership” was finalized in June 2019 and was formally signed by States on 26 September 2019 in New York.
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 which play key roles in international news and information 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 initiative 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 to implementation of the Partnership by drawing up recommendations.
The report by the working group on infodemics set up by the Forum on Information & Democracy was presented to the ministerial meeting of the Alliance for Multilateralism on 12 November 2020. Christophe Deloire, Forum Chair, presented four structural challenges calling for reinforced regulation: platform transparency, meta-regulation of content moderation, promotion of reliable information, and the merging of public and private space when closed messaging services become de facto unregulated public spaces.
Deloire also announced the creation of a second Forum working group dedicated to the sustainability of journalism.
List of participating countries (as of 19 February 2021)
Andorra, Australia, Armenia, Austria, Belgium, Benin, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Iceland, India, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Malta, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Senegal, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tunisia and United Kingdom.
Download the full text of the International Partnership for Information and Democracy: