U.N. Secretary-General Wants International Speech Code | National Review

U.N. Secretary-General Wants International Speech Code | National Review


The United Nations logo is affixed to a window on a window in the United Nations headquarters in New York, September 21, 2020. (Mike Segar/Reuters)

This should have received a lot more attention than it did. A couple of weeks ago, U.N. secretary-general António Guterres issued a report that would limit free discourse on issues such as global warming, the pandemic, and other focuses favored by the internationalists. From,”Our Common Agenda:” 

Now is the time to end the ‘infodemic’ plaguing our world by defending a common, empirically backed consensus around facts, science, and knowledge. The ‘war on science’ must end. All policy and budget decisions should be backed by science and expertise, and I am calling for a global code of conduct that promotes integrity in public information.

That sounds disturbingly like imposing speech codes that would stifle heterodox opinions and promote orthodoxies favored by U.N. bureaucrats.

You think I’m exaggerating? Decide for yourself (my emphasis):

26. The Internet has altered our societies as profoundly as the printing press did, requiring a deep reimagining of the ethics and mindsets with which we approach knowledge, communication and cohesion. Along with the potential for more accessible information and rapid communication and consultation, the digital age, particularly social media, has also heightened fragmentation and “echo chambers”.

Objectivity, or even the idea that people can aspire to ascertain the best available truth, has come increasingly into question. The goal of giving equal balance to competing points of view can come at the expense of impartiality and evidence, distorting the public debate. The ability to cause large-scale disinformation and undermine scientifically established facts is an existential risk to humanity.

Guterres is really saying he want an official “echo chamber” of approved discourse. Thus, he writes:

While vigorously defending the right to freedom of expression everywhere, we must equally encourage societies to develop a common, empirically backed consensus on the public good of facts, science and knowledge. (His emphasis.)

The second part of that sentence belies the first. How is freedom of expresson defended when the powers that be would determine the “consensus” of “facts, science, and knowledge”?  Moreover, that approach would be profoundly anti-science, which is a method of determining facts about the natural world that requires dissent, skepticism, and ongoing challenges to be effective.

Guterres wants the U.N. to be in control of discourse:

A global code of conduct that promotes integrity in public information could be explored together with States, media outlets and regulatory bodies, facilitated by the United Nations. With recent concerns about trust and mistrust linked to technology and the digital space, it is also time to understand, better regulate and manage our digital commons as a global public good.

That really means Internet companies and social-media outlets empowered to shut out U.N.-unapproved perspectives from cyberspace — you know, the kind of censorship in which Twitter engaged when it blocked the dissemination of the New York Post‘s accurate Hunter Biden “laptop” story and YouTube removing videos of scientists discussing COVID in ways that differed from those promoted by the WHO.

Guterres has shown where the globalists want to take us. Thankfully, the U.N. doesn’t currently have the legal or coercive power to compel speech codes. For the sake of freedom, we must keep it that way.





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About the Author

Tony Beasley
Tony Beasley writes for the Local News, US and the World Section of ANH.