Munir Akram highlights anti-Pakistan disinformation at UN debate

NEW YORK: During a High-Level Open Debate on “Maintenance of International Peace and Security: Addressing Evolving Threats in Cyberspace” held by the Security Council on Friday, Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Munir Akram, called attention to widespread disinformation and cyber warfare affecting several countries, including Pakistan.

Ambassador Akram emphasized the need for a legally binding international agreement based on guidelines provided by the Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). He cited the 2019 and 2020 reports by EU DisinfoLab, which revealed extensive anti-Pakistan propaganda campaigns.

These reports uncovered a 15-year-long massive disinformation operation, involving over 10 fake NGOs accredited to the UN Human Rights Council, more than 750 fake media outlets, and 550 fraudulent websites.

“The 2019 report provided evidence of resurrected deceased individuals being used to spread falsehoods against Pakistan,” stated Akram.

Highlighting the global ramifications of such disinformation campaigns, Ambassador Akram underscored the need for comprehensive international attention.

He also spoke about a Pakistan-sponsored UN General Assembly resolution titled “Countering Disinformation for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.”

This resolution stresses the responsibility of states to combat disinformation to preserve peace and promote cooperation among nations.

Furthermore, Akram advocated for the framework of legal documents to align with the principles of the UN Charter, such as sovereignty, territorial integrity, and non-interference. He proposed confidence-building measures to combat cyber threats, including voluntary information exchange and international cooperation to bridge the digital divide.

The ambassador praised the recent launch of the Global Points of Contact Directory for ICT Security as a significant step toward building trust among states in cyber realms.

Reiterating Pakistan’s commitment, Akram concluded, “With over 240 million people and a growing digital landscape, Pakistan is keen on utilizing digital technologies for socio-economic advancement and improving governance and public service efficiency.”

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