CIDC Convenes Workshop to Discuss Multi-stakeholder Strategy Against Disinformation

May 13, 2024
CIDC Convenes Workshop to Discuss Multi-stakeholder Strategy Against Disinformation

The Center for Information, Democracy and Citizenship (CIDC) at AUBG hosted a virtual workshop on Wednesday, May 8, in collaboration with EdVenture Partners (EVP), to address the urgent need for inclusive responses to the growing threat of disinformation to democracies. The workshop, titled “From Theory to Action: Building Resilient Information Ecosystems to Protect Democracy’s Promise,” brought together a panel of experts to discuss practical strategies to operationalize the principles of the Framework to Counter Foreign State Information Manipulation, translate theory into action, and strengthen multistakeholder mechanisms to uphold democratic participation.

The event, which served as an Offsite side event of the 2024 United Nations Civil Society Conference in Nairobi, featured a keynote address by Mr. Michael Duffin, Senior Advisor on Countering Violent Extremism at the U.S. Department of State. Duffin emphasized the significance of the recently endorsed Framework to Counter Foreign State Information Manipulation, a multilateral instrument designed to foster information ecosystems resilient to manipulation. He underscored the vital role of civil society, independent media, and academia in operationalizing the framework’s principles and strengthening multistakeholder mechanisms to uphold democratic participation.

The workshop featured a distinguished panel of experts from diverse backgrounds. Dr. Miloš Gregor, Advisor to the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic on Information Literacy and Combating Disinformation, shared his expertise on the challenges and mechanics of disinformation, and the possible countermeasures. The panel also included Dr. Costin-Razvan Enache, Lecturer at the Faculty of Journalism at Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu, who provided an academic perspective on the role of media in combating disinformation.

Mr. Tony Sgro, Founder and CEO of EVP, contributed his experience in developing innovative education partnership programs to solve global challenges.  Daniela Moraru, a student at the Academy of Economic Studies in Moldova and coordinator of the US State Department-funded Students for a United and Resilient Europe (SURE) program at the university (one of the programs implemented by EVP), represented the voice of young leaders actively engaged in promoting media literacy and resilience against disinformation.

Ambassador Delfin Pllana, Director of the Department for Americas at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Diaspora of the Republic of Kosovo and former Ambassador to Bulgaria, brought valuable diplomatic insights to the discussion and shared the experience of Kosovo. Dr. Jacob Udo Udo Jacob, Executive Director of the CIDC, underscored the vital role of higher education institutions in addressing societal challenges. He emphasized that universities must leverage their resources, expertise, and credibility to tackle disinformation, actively engaging with community and global stakeholders to develop effective solutions.

Dr. Margee Ensign, President of AUBG, welcomed the participants and stressed the significance of the workshop in addressing the pressing challenges posed by disinformation and the interweaving roles of civil society, media, and academic institutions in nurturing resilient societies and protecting democracy.

The workshop concluded with a commitment to nurture a multistakeholder coalition of academic institutions, civil society, media, and the public sector for ongoing collaboration, and to enhance the role of academic institutions and civil society in building resilient information ecosystems. The workshop proceedings will contribute to the objectives of the UN Civil Society Conference, which is part of consultative events leading up to the UN Summit of the Future, holding in September 2024.

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