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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Sunday, 05.07.2020, 09:45

Latvia urges closer cooperation to protect freedom of expression online

BC, Riga, 06.05.2015.Print version
On 4-5 May 2015, Viktors Makarovs, Advisor to the Foreign Minister of Latvia, is taking part in the 5th high level conference of the Freedom Online Coalition in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. The overarching theme for the Conference is “Internet Policy Making – Best Practices for Promoting Online Freedom”, reports BC the Latvian MFA.

“The aim of the conference is to discuss the recent challenges for online freedom, as well as the opportunities for strengthening human rights and the protection of fundamental rights online. This year, a special focus has been placed on themes such as the significance of critical thinking and media literacy, as well as the equal application of human rights both in physical and digital environments.


Viktors Makarovs gave a speech at the plenary session, “Progressive Policy Making”, in which he pointed to the challenges for the Internet freedom across the globe, as well as emphasizing the need for a stronger cooperation on freedom of speech and its protection in the online environment. He acknowledged that the rapid development of the Internet and the increasing accessibility of information highlight the priority of the strengthening of critical thinking and media literacy in the education system. Viktors Makarovs presented Latvia’s progress in development of the Internet and promotion of freedom of speech, and outlined the events dealing with the theme during Latvia’s Presidency of the Council of the EU.


Participating in the plenary chaired by Getachew Engida, UNESCO’s Deputy Director General, were also Dunja Mijatovic, OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, and Maria Leissner, Secretary General of the Community of Democracies.


The Freedom Online Coalition member states, other invited countries, members of civil society and of the private sector are represented at the conference.


The Freedom Online Coalition is a group of governments who have committed to work together to support Internet freedom and protect fundamental human rights – free expression, association, assembly, and privacy online – worldwide. The FOC was established in the Netherlands in 2011, and Latvia joined it on 7 December 2012. Currently, 26 countries from various regions of the world have joined the Coalition. It organises a high level conference on a yearly basis. Until now, these events have been hosted by the Netherlands, Kenya, Tunisia and Estonia.


Latvia is actively engaged in promoting freedom of speech, including freedom of speech online, and at international organisations. The strengthening of freedom of speech and independent, quality media are priorities for Latvia during its Presidency of the Council of the EU.

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