The world is waking up to the importance of information integrity as a precondition for success in delivering the Sustainable Development Goals. Fortunately, libraries have long not just understood the need for reliable, verifiable and accurate information, but have delivered it. They can contribute much to any future policy framework here.

In the context of the United Nations High-Level Political Forum (UN HLPF) 2023, IFLA was proud to work with the UN’s Dag Hammarskjold Library to run an event focused on information integrity.

This theme is one of the key topics identified by the UN Secretary General in ‘Our Common Agenda‘, his roadmap for ensuring that the UN and the world are ready to deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals and the wider UN agenda.

Information Integrity has subsequently been the topic of a Policy Brief, prepared in the run-up to next year’s Summit of the Future, which sets out the fundamentals of a new Code of Conduct to be promoted among governments, companies and other actors.

This draft Code provided the core structure for the event, which brought together librarians from all continents with the UN Under-Secretary General for Global Communications, Melissa Fleming, and other UN experts.

Through this, participants shared experiences from their own libraries in promoting equitable access to quality information. In particular, they welcomed the recognition of the importance of this key aspect of library work, and underlined the value of work at the community level to make the connection between people and information, the scope for collaboration with journalists, the need to build skills and attitudes, and the value of involving libraries in decision-making.

We are proud now to be able to share the report from this event on our repository. This will be shared with the UN teams, but we hope that it can also support the work of libraries everywhere in engaging governments as they themselves look to engage around the topic.

We are grateful to the UN Dag Hammarskjold Library for hosting this event and enabling its organisation, and to Stichting IFLA Global Libraries for making it possible through a grant.