ANO DP pasākums Londonā
Photo: Margarita Feizaka, the Latvian Embassy in the UK

On 15 May 2024, an expert discussion, “The many angles of disinformation – challenges and answers” took place in London, at the Embassy of Latvia in the United Kingdom. The discussion was attended by Monta Zaumane, a consultant in the Strategic Communication Coordination Department of the State Chancellery, Francesca Gentile, a researcher at a non-profit social enterprise, Centre for Information Resilience, and Cassidy Bereskin, a researcher at the Oxford Internet Institute.

While addressing the participants and guests of the discussion, the Ambassador of Latvia to the United Kingdom, Ivita Burmistre, emphasized, “Since 2014, the fight against disinformation and improvement of media literacy has been one of the priorities on the agenda of the international community; moreover, since 2022, Latvia and like-minded countries have been facing information attacks of this kind on a daily basis, which not only contributes to the division of society, but also threatens security.”

During the discussion, the participants exchanged views on the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on disinformation, in particular, the increasing visual disinformation.  and their rapid development were reviewed. It was established during the discussion that disinformation campaigns targeting socially and politically active opinion leaders often result in physical attacks. The participants welcomed the directions of strategic communication by the Latvian public authorities and their recommendation on how to refute disinformation at the national level.

The participants agreed that new tools and methods for disseminating disinformation would emerge in the future, given the rapid development of technologies. In order to promote the resilience of the public to disinformation, officials in public authorities need to be truthful with the public and open to communication in the media, explaining the decisions taken and other issues important to the population.

The event organised by the Embassy was widely attended – the audience included members of the vast diplomatic corps accredited in London, as well as representatives from various UK government institutions and the media.

The discussion on “The many angles of disinformation – challenges and answers” was implemented as part of the public diplomacy programme in support of the campaign of Latvia’s candidature for the United Nations Security Council. The aim of the campaign under the motto of “Together for Peace and Resilience” is to ensure the successful election of Latvia to the UN Security Council for the period from 2026 to 2027 in the 2025 elections, where Latvia is standing for the seat of an elected member for the first time. Participation in the UN Security Council would be one of the most significant instruments for the implementation and protection of the foreign policy interests of Latvia; it would also make it possible to further expand the international cooperation of Latvia thereby contributing to world peace and resilience.