A senior UN official in Libya has expressed the hope that media would play a role in building peace in Libya, the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) said Thursday.
Deputy Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General on Political Affairs in Libya, Stephanie Williams, made the remarks at the closing session of a two-day seminar held in the Libyan capital Tripoli, the UNSMIL said in a statement.
The seminar aimed to counter hate speech, incitement, and disinformation in the Libyan media, with the participation of journalists, human rights and civil society activists, media academics and social media influencers.
The participants agreed on 16 recommendations as key principles to counter hate speech, incitement, disinformation, and rumours.
“Hate speech, incitement, rumours, disinformation and fake news are just a few examples of the prevailing social media content in your country, which have wreaked havoc with Libya’s already fragile social fabric,’’ Williams said.
“The longer this continues, the more difficult it will be for us to broker a lasting ceasefire.’’
Similar events are planned to be held in order to engage all media actors in Libya to reach a code of conduct for media, the UNSMIL said.
“UNSMIL hopes that this will be an opportunity for all media professionals in Libya to stand united against hate speech, incitement and disinformation, which threaten the Libyans’ pursuit of social peace,’’ the statement said.
Libya has been suffering escalating violence, political instability and unrest ever since the fall of the late leader Muammar Gaddafi’s regime in 2011.
Edited by Abdulfatah Babatunde