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HRC46: Nordic and Baltic countries address the special rapporteur on cultural rights

Madame President,
Madam Special Rapporteur, 

I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Nordic-Baltic countries (Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Sweden, and my own country Norway).

We must promote all human rights, including the rights for each person – without discrimination – to access, participate and contribute to cultural life in society and to share in science. 

Cultural rights are for all, irrespective of gender, religion, age, sexual orientation, disability or ethnicity. 
We are concerned by the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on cultural rights, and the shrinking space for artistic freedom all over the world. Artistic freedom and creation are essential to freedom of expression.

We highly appreciate the clear message in your report, on strengthening the cultural and scientific sectors during and after the pandemic, stressing the need for a human rights approach to avoid long-lasting consequences for culture, and surveying the positive potential of cultures and cultural rights, including the right to independent science, to enhance rights-respecting solutions and build resilience. 
We strongly support the recommendations and urge states and non-state actors to promote and guarantee cultural rights, without discrimination, in responding to the pandemic. The right to participate in cultural life and freedom of expression are key to long-term recovery and building back better. 

Madam Special Rapporteur, how can we ensure that policy makers pay more attention to freedom of artistic expression? 

Thank you!