“Knowledge and ideas today flow in volumes and at speed that we could not have imagined years ago, ‘regardless of frontier’ and at low cost,” the Assistant Director-General for Communication of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Janis Karklins, told participants at the Internet Governance Forum (IGF). “However, barriers to this flow still exist, and new ones continue to emerge.”The Forum, which opened in Baku, Azerbaijan on Tuesday, includes the participation of governments, intergovernmental organizations, business representatives, the technical community, civil society organizations, as well as any individual Internet users interested in Internet governance issues.The theme for this year’s Forum is ‘Internet Governance for Sustainable Human, Economic and Social Development’ and reflects the increasing role of the Internet in the evolution of the various aspects of development, across all countries.According to its website, UNESCO recognizes that the Internet holds enormous potential for development, providing an unprecedented volume of resources for information and knowledge and opens up new opportunities. “The principle of freedom of expression must apply not only to traditional media but also to the Internet and all types of emerging media platforms which will definitely contribute to development, democracy and dialogue,” it states.In an IGF session focusing on online freedom of expression, Mr. Karklins said UNESCO has seen cases of Internet service shutdowns during times of political developments in some countries, limiting connection of specific communication platforms, arbitrarily blocking and filtering content, and criminalizing legitimate speech to silence dissent.“Unwarranted surveillance and violations of the right to privacy have also been inflicted upon Internet users around the world,” Mr. Karklins said. “Many have faced imprisonment, harassment and cyber-attacks. In extreme cases, people who have expressed themselves on the Internet have been killed.”The constant evolution of the Internet landscape, as well as its trans-national nature, present challenges to legal frameworks, with discrepancies arising in laws in different jurisdictions, Mr. Karklins noted, and warned that freedom of expression must be safeguarded to prevent abuses to this fundamental right. The UNESCO official also underlined that States must promote accessible Internet connection and inexpensive equipment, as well as media literacy among their citizens.“Within a multi-stakeholder Internet governance framework, the effective realization of freedom of expression should be considered just as critical as widening access to infrastructure. This is in the interest of individuals, the societies, of governments and the community of nations,” he added, and reiterated UNESCO’s commitment to promoting freedom of expression through traditional as well as online platforms.
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The players certainly let out some frustration during the practice session one day before the game against Russia. While it started out quiet, scrimmages saw two separate occasions when Danielle Hamilton-Carter and Josefine Vesterberg got hit and go down for a minute.They worked hard, but the session seemed to knock the frustration out of the players and they started to retain some confidence. Gomez said: “This team didn’t play the last competitions of the Olympics and the European Championship. They didn’t have confidence and it was our job to build this confidence in this team.“That was maybe the most difficult job but we found it at the end of May – we had a good mix with my basketball philosophies from France and the players’ Swedish ideas. Of course, I’m not 100% happy with the result because we need a long time to work on these things. But I hope it will work tomorrow when we receive our gift of playing Russia for a chance to reach the Olympic qualification tournament.”That doesn’t mean the Swedish team will be taking the contest lightly. They fully realise the experience Russia has, and the task that is ahead of them. Gomez said: “Maja Miljakova is a very good player, everybody says she’s old but I know she is able to score a lot of threes. Maria Vadeeva is young player with big talent, and then there is Raisa Musina, of course. They have two good point guards, they have snipers.” “Playing Serbia in the quarterfinals was not a gift. But now, the most important thing is to forget, because the way we played yesterday was not good, and we must focus on this game against Russia – winning it could be big for the Swedish federation to play in pre-Olympic tournament.”The country’s leading scorer Amanda Zahui B had no plans to go through another performance like the one the team had against Serbia – during which Sweden was beaten by 38 points. After the loss, she said: “We have to play with a lot of anger next game. We have to play like we really want it. All the emotions that we’re feeling right now should transfer into the next game. I’m pissed. All these feelings that I’m feeling now, I’m going to pass on to my teammates. And we’ll just build from that.” https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/75/34/maria-vadeeva-russia-fiba_1hrail3j2cg6g16077zfo8txe9.jpg?t=-972215509&w=500&quality=80 https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/4b/92/amanda-zahui-b-sweden-fiba_vlmuiftqu0el1un97beqc794h.jpg?t=-972556461&w=500&quality=80 Trying to recover after a poor performance is something that every team has to go through, and when you’re a programme looking to build for the future, it will happen more often than you’d want.For Sweden, their FIBA Women’s EuroBasket loss against the home nation of Serbia in the quarterfinals was still stinging during the practice session the following day. However, Head Coach Francois Gomez explained that, actually, this moment is exactly what he and the team have been working towards for the past two years. “We never thought we were going to win the European championship,” he admitted. “We will be focused on Vadeeva, who is the best player on this team, and we must find an answer for the different problems she presents. I was surprised to see her score just 6 points against Spain, but they are always one of the best teams. We can’t reproduce the same thing as some other teams, but we can take some ideas from Spain.”Sweden will play Russia on Saturday with one of them qualifying for the Olympic qualification tournament at the beginning of next year.