Item 3: ID w/ SR on cultural rights and SR terrorism

STATEMENT, 2 March 2017

Mr. President,

Thank you Miss. Bennoune for an important, detailed and balanced report. You have rightly called fundamentalism and extremism a global avalanche of hate.

Every year hundreds of artists, cultural workers and spectators are attacked, simply for enjoying their right to express - and to participate in culture.

Under the pretext of “tradition” and “decency”, people are forced to subject to certain beliefs and practices. This is a human rights issue, and a threat to human dignity. The situation calls for increased attention to violations of cultural rights.

Norway calls upon Member States to accept and protect the universality of cultural rights as defined in the universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

Individuals, women and men, artists and audiences, not regimes or traditions, need protection from violence and threats.

Cultural participation and artistic expressions are tools to combat estrangement and extremism. This argues UNESCO’s Goodwill Ambassador, Deeyah Khan.

Governments must take measures to secure artists’ and audiences’ cultural rights and documentation of violations of cultural rights and artistic freedom should be included into the UPR-reports. 

The report emphasizes that the struggle for women’s rights is an essential component of the fight against all forms of fundamentalism and extremism. Could the Special Rapporteur elaborate on how the struggle for cultural rights is a challenge specifically for female artists?

To the special rapporteur on terrorism, we have noted with great interest your suggestions regarding the UN architecture, which in our view should also include Prevention and Countering Violent Extremism and Counter-Terrorism. We agree that human rights, including women’s rights, remain crucial in the fight against violent extremism and terrorism. 

Thank you