Ladies and Gentlemen,
Upholding the right to freedom of expression is one of the bedrocks of society and is crucial for advancing democracy, development and peace.
I therefore commend your initiative to establish a Commission on Information and Democracy. It comes at a crucial time, when new means of communicating and disseminating information are transforming our world.
Access to relevant and reliable information is therefore even more fundamental than ever. Yet more and more, it is under threat.
We are seeing increased government control of information as well as acts of intimidation against journalists.
We are also seeing new threats emerging through the misuse of technology and social media.
This should not become the new normal.
Now more than ever, we must reaffirm the importance of rigorous public debate that is informed, pluralistic and respectful.
I thank you for helping to lead the way.