Item 3: Statement in ID with SR in the field of cultural rights

Statement by First Secretary Sean Lobo at the 43rd session of the Human Rights Council. Item 3 – Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights. Delivered at 4 March 2020


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Thank you madam President,


We thank the Special Rapporteur for her report.


Cultural rights are an integral part of the universal, indivisible and interdependent human rights system. Cultural rights are applicable to everyone without discrimination. Cultural rights does not imply cultural relativism, and cannot be used as an excuse for violations of other human rights.


There is an urgent need to protect and promote cultural rights. Cultural rights defenders work to protect and promote cultural rights, including the right for all members of a community, men and women, freely to take part in cultural life. They simultaneously defend the right to assemble, freedom of expression and other fundamental human rights.


The Universal Declaration on Human Rights Defenders underscores the universality of human rights, and that human rights defenders must act in accordance with international human rights law.


Norway commends the Special Rapporteur for reiterating these important principles. Cultural rights defenders are often ignored as a subcategory of human rights defenders. Weak recognition of cultural rights defenders represents a risk to the recognition of human rights generally.


Norway calls upon UN Member States to take measures to raise awareness of the work of cultural rights defenders, in order to understand and recognise their contribution to the work on human rights generally.


We stress that the independence of the judiciary is a precondition for ensuring (respect for) individual cultural rights (and to ensure diversity in culture, media and academia)


What does the Special Rapporteur see as the greatest threat to the recognition of cultural rights defenders?


Thank you.