Economy

G7 pledges to defend democracy from foreign threats

Alliance to lead efforts against misinformation and interference of fundamental human rights

Muhammad Mussa   | 06.05.2021
G7 pledges to defend democracy from foreign threats Credit: Foreign Secretary & First Secretary of State, official twitter account: https://twitter.com/DominicRaab

LONDON

The G7 group of wealthy nations pledged Wednesday to defend democracy from foreign threats and to champion shared values among friendly and democratic states. 

The international alliance in a joint statement called on states with shared values and principles to unite against those entities that pose a risk to democracy, the rule of law and fundamental human rights.

“The G7 share common democratic values and respect for fundamental freedoms, human rights, and the rule of law. We are committed to the protection, promotion and encouragement of open societies and the democratic systems that underpin them,” the statement said.

“Foreign malign actors persist in their attempts to undermine democracies, and some states seek to promote their own authoritarian systems of governance and geopolitical objectives. The G7 is committed to working together to show global leadership and take action to expose and deter these actors and to defend democracy,” it added.

Information manipulation

The intergovernmental organization also acknowledged that certain attempts were being made against G7 states and their allies in interfering and disrupting democratic processes with the intent of spreading misinformation. Furthermore, these malign actors have deployed a wide variety of tools to achieve their aims.

Such attempts include the artificial distribution and amplification of misleading and false information, the intent to increase division and hatred among minority groups and drive a wedge between various communities, and the manipulating and distorting of political discourse that threatens national interests.

They also include “attempts to undermine trust in democratic institutions and processes, influence independent media, manipulate civic discourse, close civic space, damage social cohesion and threaten public health.”

The use of social media platforms in spreading misinformation has intensified in recent years and has been highly effective in targeting vulnerable audiences. State-sponsored cyber-terrorism and the use of media in delivering misinformation has also amplified, leading to calls from nations to introduce effective measures to target new forms of digital attacks.

Attack on fundamental freedoms and human rights

The western alliance also identified increased attacks against fundamental freedoms and human rights, with authoritarian states increasing their influence and preventing certain sections of society and individuals from exercising their legitimate human rights and freedoms.

When looking at society as a whole, there have been attempts at silencing human rights defenders, civil society activists and journalists who have been critical of state actors. Furthermore, certain individuals deemed a threat to the state have been silenced, abused and denied access to health care and legal representation.

“There have been attempts to influence, pressure or threaten individuals with the intent of preventing them from exercising their legitimate human rights and fundamental freedoms, including freedom of expression,” it said.

The G7 has pledged to unite in the face of global threats against democracy and the international rule of law.

“We will stand together against the threat of foreign interference, guided by our shared values of democracy, transparency and openness,” the statement added.

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