Intersessional Workshop on Cultural Rights and the Protection of Cultural Heritage Mandated by HRC resolution 49/7 on “cultural rights and cultural heritage”
Statement by Ambassador Michèle Taylor
December 1, 2023
Thank you, Ambassador Neocleous, and all the panelists for your thoughtful presentations.
This year, as we celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, I want to call special attention to Article 27, which states that “everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community.”
The United States is a diverse nation of people from all backgrounds, religions, and traditions, and we strive to ensure that all cultures are respected and valued.
This year, the White House released the first ever National Strategy to Advance Equity, Justice, and Opportunity for Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Communities. President Biden further established the White House Initiative on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity for Hispanics and established the Ancestral Footprints of the Grand Canyon National Monument, a designation which honors tribal nations and Indigenous Peoples.
The United States embraces and celebrates the rich cultures of people of African descent in the United States and around the world through the creation of a President’s Advisory Council on African Diaspora Engagement in the United States and engagement with the Permanent Forum on People of African Descent.
Unfortunately, some governments take steps to undermine or abuse these rights – actions that not only threaten individuals but threaten the existence of entire cultures.
Cultural rights, like other human rights and fundamental freedoms, should not be sacrificed in the name of economic development or national security.
Distinguished panelists, what tools can member states and the UN implement to help survivors of attacks on cultural rights find peace and justice?
I thank you.