Remarks at a Third Committee Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression Irene Khan

Nicholas Hill
Deputy Representative to the Economic and Social Council
New York, New York
October 14, 2022


We thank the Special Rapporteur for her report.

Freedom of expression is a bedrock of healthy societies and is under threat in many parts of the world, including through governments’ increased use of censorship; unlawful surveillance; overly restrictive laws; disinformation and state control of media; and the detention, prosecution, and use of violence against journalists, human rights defenders, and citizen activists.

We welcome your insights that, during armed conflict, there is an acute need for truthful and independent information to ensure individuals’ safety and well-being. This information is especially vulnerable to manipulation.

We are seeing these challenges play out with Russia. The Kremlin is engaged in a longstanding and coordinated disinformation campaign to create false pretexts for its further invasion of Ukraine. Putin and his government are also tightening their already expansive control over Russia’s media environment, including banning public access to social media and cracking down on virtually all independent media outlets in the country. These actions are a direct affront to freedom of expression.

The United States looks forward to continuing to work with the Special Rapporteur and our partners to ensure that individuals globally can freely express themselves.

Question: What can we do to counter the rising number of attacks against freedom of expression around the world?

Thanks very much.