March 4, 2024
The Secretariat VerityCon 2023 - Navigating the Disinformation Era

WBF proudly presents: 𝐕𝐞𝐫𝐢𝐭𝐲𝐜𝐨𝐧 𝟐𝟎𝟐𝟑 𝐂𝐨𝐧𝐟𝐞𝐫𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐞: 𝐍𝐚𝐯𝐢𝐠𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐃𝐢𝐬𝐢𝐧𝐟𝐨𝐫𝐦𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐄𝐫𝐚

VerityCon 2023 – Navigating in the Disinformation Era Conference will tackle one of the biggest threat of our times, the disinformation. The Western Balkans Fund will be in charge of organising the event, supported financially by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan and International Visegrad Fund.

Scheduled to take place in November, this remarkable event will connect preeminent experts and leaders who have placed combating disinformation at the forefront of their agendas

The partnership was officially formalized today at our Secretariat, marked by the contract signature ceremony between the Executive Director of the Fund and His Excellency Mr. TAKADA Mitsuyuki, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to the Republic of Albania

VerityCon2023 will be the second mayor event of the year organised together with MOFA and IVF after the successful “Unstoppable” – Women and Leadership Conference.

VerityCon2023 will be the second mayor event of the year organised together with MOFA and IVF after the successful “Unstoppable” – Women and Leadership Conference.

We believe that the phenomenon of spreading fake news and misinformation/disinformation in recent years continues to pose significant challenge to democracies worldwide.

However, Russia’s conflict against Ukraine has put European and global peace and security in front of new and un-known before challenges and risks.

Within the Western Balkans (WB) region, the significance of adept communication concerning fake news and misinformation/disinformation that impact regional cooperation is highlighted.

This is crucial for garnering public endorsement and stimulating the advancement of regional cooperation values and principles. In line with this perspective, the Western Balkans Fund (WBF), steadfast in its vision and strategic objectives, continues to dedicate itself to facilitating a platform for dialogue which aims to cultivate heightened comprehension surrounding subjects that significantly influence the welfare of societies within the region, such as the propagation of misleading information, disinformation, and the proliferation of false news.

This necessity arises from the unique context of the WB region, where the consequences of disinformation campaigns, whether originating from Russia or emerging locally/regionally, have demonstrated an especially noticeable impact.

This impact manifests as distorted electorates, escalated strains among political and societal factions, and unfavourable attitudes towards the process of EU integration. Given the fragile democracies around the region and the absence of discerning perspectives within public sentiment concerning the assimilation of information originating from various sources, the significance and weight of this subject is accentuated. While, the general media landscape across the region consistently grapples with issues such as lack of implementation of legal framework that directly impact the professionalism, financial stability and source transparency.

These challenges directly impact the quality of information disseminated to the public, thereby contributing to the propagation of fabricated news, inaccuracies, and disinformation, which in turn nurtures misguided perceptions among the broader community.

Moreover, WB region should continue making efforts in developing a clearly defined narrative on the positive impact of regional cooperation. This coherent and fact-based approach in our views essential to counter misinformation/disinformation effectively; also, to empower citizens to critically assess information can mitigate the influence of false narratives.

Following the good cooperation with MOFA Japan through Embassy of Japan in Tirana the partnership with countries of V4 group and their cooperative instrument International Visegrad Fund (IVF), WBF is confident to tackle the topic in coherent and analytical manner aiming to bring a modest but comprehensive contribution throughout this action.

The action is foreseen in form of International-Regional Conference, providing space for dialogue among diverse stakeholders to discuss the concerning topic. As the fourth experience of cooperation between the Fund and Japan, including relevant contribution of IVF, we are confident in the success of such endeavour and to the recommendations, conclusions including follow-up actions.