Dialogue with the SRs on Protecting Human Rights While Countering Terrorism and on Cultural Rights

Agenda Item 3, Clustered Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on Protecting Human Rights While Countering Terrorism & the Special Rapporteur on Cultural Rights

37th Session of the UN Human Rights Council

As Delivered by Luke Falcon Sapp

March 1, 2018

Thank you,

The United States thanks both Special Rapporteurs for their reports and presentation.

The promotion and protection of human rights play critical roles in preventing terrorism.  The United States is committed to continuing to support governments and civil society in addressing drivers of violent extremism, such as political and social marginalization of particular communities.  Effective counterterrorism efforts require a foundation in the rule of law, accountable security forces, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and community engagement.  Similarly, national action plans to prevent violent extremism must be consistent with international human rights obligations.  Counterterrorism laws, policies, and practices that build on these foundations can avoid further fueling the cycle of radicalization to violence.

Mr. Aloain:  Can you outline some best practices that States should be mindful of as we work to ensure that protecting and promoting human rights and fundamental freedoms are an integral part of our efforts to prevent terrorism?

We are pleased that Special Rapporteur Bennoune focused her report on artistic and cultural expression.  Artistic freedom is a key component of the fundamental freedom of expression.  Artistic expression is critical to culture, identity, and heritage.  The arts provide an important means for individuals to express their identity, politics, and civic concerns.  Artists in many parts of the world are facing threats, censorship, and violations and abuses of their human rights.  We condemn these violations and abuses, which may include extrajudicial executions, physical attacks, and arbitrary detentions.  We were appreciative of the Special Rapporteur’s  focus on how the arts promote diversity and overcoming prejudice.

Ms. Bennoune:   Would you find value in coordinating your work on artistic expression with that of  the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression, and if so, how would you envision such an effort?