Press Freedom and Tackling Disinformation & other topics – Daily Briefing (4 May 2020)

Noon briefing by Stephane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
SG/COVID pledging
COVID/Africa children
Central Sahel
Mali/Burkina Faso
Press freedom

Today, the Secretary-General took part in the online High-Level Dialogue on Press Freedom and Tackling Disinformation in the COVID-19 pandemic Context. That was hosted by UNESCO.
He said that the media has come under increasing pressure in recent years, with many journalists currently facing threats, harassment and violent attacks.
“When journalists are attacked, societies as a whole pay a price,” he said, adding that no democracy can function without press freedom.
The Secretary-General also said that with the current pandemic we have seen a dangerous outbreak of misinformation, from harmful health advice as well as hate speech to wild conspiracy theories. He stressed that the antidote is a fact-based news and analysis.
Now, more than ever, he said, we need the media to document what is happening; to differentiate between fact and fiction; and hold leaders accountable.

The Secretary-General also spoke today at an online pledging event for the Coronavirus Global Response.
He thanked the European Commission and its partners for hosting the conference, calling it exactly the kind of leadership the world needs today.
The Secretary-General underlined how comprehensive, coordinated public health measures are critical to slow transmission and save lives, but he cautioned that even countries that have taken such steps remain in jeopardy.
He noted that the virus is likely to strike many countries that are least able to cope. In an interconnected world, he stressed that none of us is safe until all of us are safe.
The Secretary-General also underscored that new COVID-19 diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines must be treated as global public goods available and affordable for all.
For a world free of COVID-19, it will require the most massive public health effort in history. He added that with today’s pledging event mobilizing resources for this vital endeavour.
The Secretary-General also welcomed the generous contributions announced today towards the initial goal of 7.5 billion Euros, but said that, to reach everyone, everywhere, we will likely need five times this amount.

Full Highlights:

In This Story: COVID-19

Covid-19 is the official WHO name given to the novel coronavirus which broke out in late 2019 and began to spread in the early months of 2020.

Symptoms of coronavirus

The main symptoms of coronavirus are:

  • a persistent new cough (non productive, dry)
  • a high temperature (e.g. head feels warm to the touch)
  • shortness of breath (if this is abnormal for the individual, or increased)

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