Item 3: Resolution Entitled “Promotion of the enjoyment of the cultural rights of everyone and respect for cultural diversity,” A/HRC/25/L.29/Rev.1
Explanation of Position by the Delegation of the United States of America
Human Rights Council 25th Session
Geneva, March 28, 2014
We are pleased to join consensus on the resolution concerning cultural rights and cultural diversity. In doing so, we wish to register our concern that the concept of cultural diversity, particularly when espoused in a human rights context, could be misunderstood. Cultural diversity and efforts to promote it should not be used to undermine or limit the scope of human rights, nor should it infringe on the enjoyment by individuals of their human rights. Likewise, this concept should not be used to justify or legitimize human rights abuses. Instead, cultural diversity and international human rights can be mutually reinforcing concepts that can help us all achieve a better world. Article 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other human rights instruments set forth certain cultural rights. Notably, in addition to the right of individuals to share in scientific advancement and its benefits, which this resolution mentions, there is a right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production. Intellectual property rights reflect that latter right, and countries should focus on building national intellectual property rights protection capacities. While the United States is not a party to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, we note that it states that economic, social and cultural rights are to be progressively realized.