Remarks at a Meeting of the Committee on Information in Response to Russia

Elijah Waterman
Counselor for Public Affairs
New York, New York
May 4, 2022


Thank you to the Chair and thank you to the Committee, for giving the U.S. delegation the opportunity to reply to the issues raised by my colleagues from the Russian delegation this morning, including the issue of Ms. Zakharova’s visa issuance.

The United States stands ready to assist Member States who may be concerned that a specific visa will not be issued in time for a relevant meeting, and we continue to urge individuals to submit visa applications as early as possible. When missions contact the United States Mission a reasonable amount of time beforehand, preferably a month ahead of the meeting, we are almost always able to assist them in securing timely issuance. Visa records are, however, confidential, therefore we do not comment on individual cases.  

It is a sad irony that my colleagues from the Russian delegation are here today using the Committee on Information to spread disinformation. It is perverse that Russia stands before this body, for which the expressed purpose is to promote “information and communications…to strengthen peace and international understanding,” to amplify blatant and verifiable lies.

And it is indeed a reflection of the darkest form of cynicism that we sit here today, in a forum committed to “free circulation and…better-balanced dissemination of information,” while Russia is mobilizing its entire state apparatus to crack down on domestic dissent and independent media to keep its citizens in a fog of lies. All of this demonstrates the importance of this body’s mandate. The danger of disinformation in this instance is not just the lamentable silencing of Russia’s people. No, it goes far beyond that. These lies are in the service of a war that is globally destabilizing and inflicting unimaginable suffering. We must all reject these lies and call Russia out for what it’s doing. We must all stand up for truth, and for liberty. And today, that means standing with Ukraine.

Thank you.