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Chancellor chairs OECD Ministerial Meeting session on countering disinformation

Date

2022 11 18

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On Friday, the Chancellor of the Government, Giedrė Balčytytė, attended an OECD Ministerial Meeting in Luxembourg and chaired the session on the response of democracies to mis- and dis-information. 

‘Lithuania welcomes OECD’s focus on countering disinformation, which has become dangerously pervasive, contagious, and perilous to the health of our societies by eroding trust in democratic institutions, fostering divisions and, in many cases, indifference to public sphere. To protect freedom of expression—so precious to democracies—we need to build resilience against disinformation, and to be able to prevent or stop it from spreading.

As a frontline state in Russia’s disinformation war, Lithuania has gained a lot of experience in understanding of how disinformation operates, what it is about and its likely targets. However, history shows that authoritarian regimes are susceptible to exploiting new themes and internal debates to divide and undermine. As a successful platform for bringing together the like-minded in a broad number of fields, the OECD definitely has the capacity to do so in the fight against disinformation, which is key for all of us today,’ said the Chancellor of the Government, Ms Balčytytė.

The Ministerial session looked at the spread of disinformation in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and Russia’s war in Ukraine, institutional challenges in countering it, and the need to ensure the availability of credible, fact-based information to the public.

As Chancellor Balčytytė pointed out, public trust is slow to grow, and it can be lost in no time—and that is exactly what the disseminators of disinformation want. Russia is particularly keen to take advantage of this by actively trying to sabotage Western support for Ukraine.

‘We spare no efforts or resources trying to counter disinformation with reliable information, but we must remember that the fuel of disinformation is not facts and arguments, but emotions,’ said the Chancellor.

During the session, country representatives shared recent lessons learned, and measures put in place for increased resilience to disinformation. They also exchanged insights on how countries can improve their preparedness for similar challenges in the future, between themselves and with the support of the OECD.

SIP photo.