BLINKEN at the #SummitAmericas on new chapter of the Disinformation Communications Network, Digital Diplomacy and Human Rights Online


World Affairs

6/12/2022, 8:09:26 AM

Sec Blinken at a Meeting of the Summit Implementation Review Group:” As we know well, diseases don’t respect borders, and health security is tied to economic security. This is why we have a common interest at the #SummitAmericas to cooperate and improve health security in our hemisphere to fortify our economic security and prosperity.“ “the summit’s five central themes: health and resilience, digital transformation, clean energy, environmental sustainability, and democratic governance. When individual countries don’t do enough to invest in detecting infectious disease or reducing emissions, it puts people across the region and the world at risk. And we’ve seen, of course, how COVID-19 and the consequences of the climate crisis are hitting underserved communities the hardest, deepening inequities within our hemisphere.

Much like the problems, the solutions are interconnected. And to be effective, they have to reach across borders. That’s why we’re here. That’s really what it comes down to.

Addressing these challenges also demands that we try to bridge the divide between domestic and foreign policy, whether we’re working to improve health security or energy security; defending an open, secure, reliable internet; or strengthening regulations to make sure that illicit finance cannot find a safe haven in any of our countries. And you see that in the diverse teams that each of our countries has put together for these discussions and to try to tackle these problems.

Let me simply focus us now on the five areas that we will discuss today and that our leaders will take up later.

First, we will build greater health and pandemic resilience by strengthening our public health systems to ensure that people across our hemisphere have access to quality care. That includes expanding people- and community-centered health services, investing in education and training in medicine, public health, nutrition, biomedical science research. It also includes preparing for future health emergencies by strengthening our capacity to detect, to prevent, and to deal with future outbreaks of pandemics and other emergencies, improving coordination, transparency, accountability across the region, because when it comes to global health – we’ve learned this – we’re all in it together.

Second, we will establish the first-ever regional agenda on digital transformation to close an enduring digital divide in our societies so that all people can access and use the digital tools that are increasingly essential to their daily lives – from running a small business to getting an education. The agenda will include expanding internet access, particularly in historically marginalized communities, driving innovation and social inclusion through increased access to digital government services. It also includes expanding digital technology’s role in promoting quality education, digital literacy, digital citizenry.

Third, we will accelerate the region’s transition to clean energy, drawing on the strength, the knowledge, the capabilities of governance, but also businesses, NGOs, researchers, communities across our hemisphere. We’ll make it easier to share technical knowledge and best practices; to foster greater collaboration with the private sector and other stakeholders to identify opportunities for manufacturing or trade in clean energy goods and services; we’ll advance sustainable, attainable, responsible mining sector principles; and secure the integration of mineral supply chains in our own hemisphere.

Fourth, we will double down on investing in climate resilience and adaptation to better equip our communities to deal with the changes to the environment that all of us are already experiencing, and which we know are going to grow no matter how effective we are in accelerating the shift to clean energy. That includes meeting our commitments to halt and reverse deforestation, decreasing the amount of carbon from land use activities, increasing our capacity to store carbon.

Fifth and finally, we will recommit ourselves to one of the core aspirations that brought us together 30 years ago, when the United States hosted the first Summit of the Americas in Miami: advancing democracy. We’ll push ourselves, we’ll push our neighbors across the region to shore up the rule of law, free and fair elections, human rights, and other pillars of free and open societies. And we’ll work together to address common threats to our democracies, from corruption to disinformation.”

Earlier this week SecBlinken reaffirmed “the U.S. commitment to supporting access to information and defending freedom of expression, as well as standing by those who face intimidation, harassment, arrest, and violence in exercising their rights” as the United States will become chair of the Freedom Online Coalition in 2023

BLINKEN at the #SummitAmericas on Digital Diplomacy and Human Rights Online: “we’re seeing, of course, the abuse of this technology in various ways, including by repressive governments trying to control populations, to stifle dissent, to surveil and censor.

So the question is what is to be done. What do we do about it? And there are a number of things that we need to do and in fact that we are doing. One is to start by calling things out. That’s the – often the basis for everything. We have to call out the abusive technology, including digital authoritarianism.

Second, as I mentioned, we’re going to be taking on the chairmanship of the Freedom Online Coalition. We’re working to strengthen it. And this is an important vehicle to try to protect and advance internet freedom and to push back against DIGITAL AUTHORITARIANISM.

Very practically speaking, there are a number of things that we – countries, NGOs, and others – are doing to, for example, get ANTI CENSORSHIP technology into the hands of people who need it so that they have the tools to push back against the misuse of technology in an authoritarian way. We set up a multinational fund to do that at the Summit for Democracy that we hosted last year.

And then, for example, putting export controls on surveillance technology to make sure that technology that we and other countries are producing that could have a dual use and be misused for the surveillance of populations, that doesn’t get into the wrong hands. That takes working together. One country alone can’t do it. And in fact, governments alone can’t effectively do it. We need to build these coalitions to make sure that we identify where technology should not go because it’s being misused, and then work together to make sure that it doesn’t get there.”

“there are a number of things that we can – here again – and we are doing to combat the misuse of information. Again, we start by exposing it and we start by sharing the information that we have; working with others, again, in a coordinated way. We have at the State Department something called the Global Engagement Center, which is focused intensely on finding, exposing disinformation, the techniques that are used by those who are propagating it, and, in a coordinated way, working with other countries, pushing back on it and giving people the tools to do it“ “There are a number of things that we’re doing. We have initiatives to help give people fact-checking tools to make sure that the information that they’re getting actually is backed up by the facts and to show when it’s not. Digital literacy training, which is so critical to understanding what people are consuming and being able to separate the true from the misinformation and disinformation”