Prime Minister Philip Davis yesterday highlighted growing challenges with disinformation as he addressed the Summit for Democracy, a virtual event put on by the US Department of State.
Davis noted that even longstanding democracies can be vulnerable to the erosion of key democratic values and institutions.
“It is up to all of us to ensure our democratic institutions keep pace with a broad and complex array of policy challenges and we must do so despite that,” said Davis during the virtual event.
“It has never been so easy for bad actors to manipulate and distort the truth, undermining the discourse essential in healthy democracies and undercutting the ability of citizens to make informed choices.”
Davis continued, “We cannot ignore the insidious, corrosive effects of disinformation at a time when all of us need to engage our citizens in debate about a dangerous new climate change era, about the promises and perils of artificial intelligence and about how best to deliver sustainable and inclusive economic growth.
“We find that first, we must fight our way past deliberate distortions.”
Davis told the audience, “Disinformation creates cynicism, amplifies division and degrades trust.”
He said there are no shortcuts to fighting manipulation and propaganda.
“Efforts will require innovation, ingenuity, collaboration and resources,” he said.
The prime minister spoke during a plenary on democracy delivering strong institutions.
Leaders of other nations also addressed the forum.
Davis told the forum he has the privilege of governing a free and democratic nation.
“We have built strong democratic traditions and institutions and democratic life is vigorous here and vibrant,” he said.
“Yet, no nation can afford complacency. As times change, as new challenges arise, we are obligated to continually renew our commitment to the essential liberties and dignity of each of our citizens.”
The aim of the summit is to strengthen democratic institutions, tackle corruption, and defend human rights.