IFLA has submitted its response to a consultation run by the United Nations in the context of the preparation of its Code of Conduct on Information Integrity. In this, we underline the role of libraries in supporting the information integrity agenda, as well as calling for a stronger positive agenda on promoting access to, and appreciation of quality information. 

The UN is proposing a Code of Conduct on Information Integrity for Member States, in the light of growing recognition of the harm that mis- and disinformation, as well as hate speech, do to social cohesion and the effectiveness of policy interventions.

IFLA has followed this work closely, holding events at the UN in 2022 and 2023 which identified the different contributions that libraries can make to this wider agenda.

The Code of Conduct is part of the wider follow-up from the UN’s 75th anniversary celebrations, and Our Common Agenda, a package of measures proposed by the UN Secretary General to improve the ability of the UN and the international system in general to respond to key global challenges.

With wider work around Our Common Agenda heading to a key milestone at the Summit of the Future in September, work around the Code of Conduct is therefore advancing rapidly, and in this context, the UN is seeking input on principles for the code.

This consultation offers a useful opportunity therefore to highlight the role of libraries as part of any comprehensive approach to promoting a healthier information environment, building not just on top-down regulation of platforms, but also on building skills, promoting the availability of quality information, and ensuring that such information is recognised and valued.

As such, the consultation is also an opportunity to advance other IFLA goals, such as those related to open access, open science, and protection of privacy.

IFLA, and in particular its Advisory Committee on Freedom of Access to Information and Freedom of Expression (FAIFE), have therefore prepared a response, focusing on raising the profile of libraries’ role in fighting misinformation and disinformation through user empowerment.

You can read this response on our Repository, and of course provide your own answer to the consultation at this link. You can use the IFLA response as guidance to your own input as well of course.