The United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres has called on member states of the United Nations to develop media and information literacy policies that put science, knowledge and facts first.
“Let’s rebuild the trust that our societies need, and that our collective future requires. That’s why we launched the “Verified” initiative to reach millions worldwide with facts and science about the virus”, he explained.
Guterres spoke to the closing ceremony of the Global Media and Information Literacy, MIL Week on the theme, ‘Nurturing Trust: A Media and Information Literacy Imperative’, which took place in Abuja.
Guterres further called for a global code of conduct that promotes integrity in public information, and improves media and information literacy, so people can make choices based on fact, not fiction.
Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Muhammed, who was present at the event expressed the commitment of the government of Nigeria to pursuing, supporting, and promoting the right MIL policies and programmes that will enhance the development of the capacities of our citizens, particularly the youth, in the effective use of Media and Information Literacy.
“We also commit to working with UNESCO to establish a UNESCO International MIL institute in Nigeria and look forward to receiving the necessary assistance in this regard”, he said, urging development partners, multilateral organizations and all countries to commit to supporting and funding this initiative, which will ultimately make our world a safer and more peaceful place to live.
Mr. Dimitri Sanga, Director of UNESCO Dakar Office, Senegal, noted that UNESCO needed increased resources to leverage its expertise in scaling up Media and Information Literacy through the organizations’ unique opportunities for intra-sectoral, inter-sectoral and multidisciplinary cooperation.
He said: “A united call was also made to expand stakeholders’ partnership to promote new initiatives on Media and Information Literacy to nurture trust in democracy and established institutions. The time is now. We must allocate specific funds to developing Media and Information Literacy programmes, embedding media and information literacy across the whole information, education and communication continuum.”