Statement by Norway on terrorism and cultural rights

Item 3 – Interactive Dialogue with The Special Rapporteur on terrorism and Special Rapporteur on cultural rights. Statement by Norway on 1 March 2018

Mr President,

  • We would like to thank the special rapporteur for her important report.
  • Norway’s cultural policy is based on freedom of expression and tolerance. A free and vibrant cultural and civil society is an important prerequisite for an enlightened public debate and for democracy to thrive. 
  • This year’s report is highlighting the role art and culture can play in mitigating hatred and healing societies in the aftermath of violence and trauma.
  • Full implementation of cultural rights is an important tool to counter the rise of attitudes, which are contributing to divide societies.
  • Investments in culture and in the conditions that allow people to learn, develop their creativity, experience the humanity of others and exercise their critical thinking, are necessary to create cultural democracies and foster civic participation.
  • Because artistic and cultural expressions inevitably carry multiple meanings and invite multiple interpretations, culture can play a crucial role in developing individual and collective capacities for empathy and acceptance of differences.
  • The report shows that this is especially true in the aftermath of trauma or violence, including terrorism, and in deeply divided societies.
  • Norway calls upon UN Member States to accept and protect the universality of cultural rights as defined in the universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
  • Documentation of violations of cultural rights and artistic freedom should be also be included in the UPR-reports. 

Q: Could the SR elaborate on how actions in the field of culture could help societies recovering from violence, deep divisions or other human rights abuses?

Thank you!