Geneva Human Rights Dialogue on Cultural Rights

As co-organizer and key stakeholder of the Geneva Human Rights Dialogues, the Swiss Commission for UNESCO (SCU) is pleased to present the summary report and video of the third Dialogue, which was dedicated to Cultural Rights.

This thematic dialogue was held on 3rd and 4th of April 2023 and brought together UN officials, UN Special Rapporteurs, NGOs and academics. It is part of a dialogue series that the SCU launched in 2021 in collaboration with the OHCHR, UNESCO, the University of Geneva and the REGARD network to strengthen approaches and foster partnerships for the respect and implementation of human rights related to education, science, culture, communication and information.

Cultural rights protect the rights for each person, individually and in community with others, as well as groups of people, to develop and express their humanity, their world view and the meanings they give to their existence and their development through, inter alia, values, beliefs, convictions, languages, knowledge and the arts, institutions and ways of life. The Mondiacult Declaration, adopted by 150 States, is a major global commitment and call for action to promote and protect cultural rights. The open-ended discussions, were incredibly rich and constructive and underlined the value of a cross-sectoral thrust at UNESCO.

The Dialogue was structured around four segments:

  1. Ensuring the fundamentals of cultural rights
  2. Protecting artists and practitioners: rights and freedoms
  3. Protecting cultural diversity in public policies: identities, languages and contents
  4. Cultural rights in building peace: heritage, identity and restitution

The synthesis report includes 16 key messages and 16 key recommendations that were identified during the discussions.

To access the summary report in English please click here, in French please click here, and watch the video here.