The universal right to artistic freedom of expression was reaffirmed at the United Nations Human Rights Council on 18 September 2015.
Those who suppress artistic expression fear its transformative effect. This was one of the messages delivered when 53 states at the 30th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council on 18 September 2015 reaffirmed the right to creative and artistic expression.
Speaking on behalf of the 53 states, the ambassador of Latvia, Janis Karklins, told the council:
“We stand firm in our commitment to protect and promote the right to freedom of expression, including artistic and creative expression. In addition to being an integral part of the protected human right to freedom of expression, artistic and creative expression is critical to the human spirit, the development of vibrant cultures, and the functioning of democratic societies. Artistic expression connects us all, transcending borders and barriers. Artistic expression can challenge us and change the way we view the world.”
140 more members
The statement is a welcome step on the way to secure that states around the world will stand by their obligation to protect artists from threats, persecution and violence.
However, it also shows that not all states wholeheartedly support freedom of artistic expression. The United Nations has 193 member states.
During the 29th session of the Human Rights Council in July 2015, a declaration on artistic freedom of expression was withdrawn at the last minute because of fear that amendments with the intention of limiting artistic freedom would be introduced and voted to be included with the resolution.
» Read the full statement on www.geneva.usmission.gov
Tweet about the withdrawn declaration on artistic freedom of expression:
#HRC29: resolution on right to freedom of expression in the form of art has been withdrawn to allow further time to discuss key issues
— ARTICLE 19 UN (@article19UN) July 3, 2015