Statement: Artsfreedom organisations deliver checklist for United Nations
ARTICLE 19, Freemuse, and PEN International have submitted a joint written statement on behalf of 18 signatories, regarding the upcoming United Nations appointment of the Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights.
At the 30th Session of the Human Rights Council, 14 September to 2 October 2015, the President of the Human Rights Council will appoint a new Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights [HRC res. 19/6]. The deadline for nominations is 18 June 2015.
The Human Rights Council intends the process of selection to ensure that eligible candidates are highly qualified individuals who possess established competence, relevant expertise and extensive professional experience in the field of human rights [HRC res. 5/1]. Candidates must have the required expertise and experience in the field of the mandate, must be independent and impartial and show a high level of personal integrity and objectivity.
The process is subject to the general criteria and technical and objective requirements set out in HRC resolution 5/1 and decision 6/102, respectively. The signatory organisations have developed, in this checklist, an outline of qualifications that we believe are relevant to the selection and appointment of this mandate holder. The checklist is intended as an interpretative aid for the criteria and requirements set out in HRC resolution 5/1 and decision 6/102.
We emphasise that commitment to the universal application of human rights, relevant experience, competence, independence and personal integrity should be obligatory requirements for any individual to be considered an eligible candidate for this mandate. While it is not necessary for a candidate to meet every specification listed below, the strongest candidates should meet a substantial number of them.
This checklist is aimed to support all stakeholders, including governments, NGOs, academics, relevant professional networks, national human rights institutions, in the identification of and outreach to highly qualified and independent candidates. States may also use the document to strengthen national consultations processes for the identification of suitable candidates.
It is also intended as a checklist that can be used by the HRC’s Consultative Group and the President of the HRC to ensure that only highly qualified and independent candidates are considered and appointed.
• We call on Governments, NGOs and others, including relevant professional networks, to disseminate widely information about the vacancy for the Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights and encourage the use of this checklist to identify eligible candidates for the vacancy;
• We urge Governments to consult with civil society so as to ensure that highly qualified candidates apply;
• We encourage the Council’s Consultative Group and the Council’s President to use this checklist in their effort to ensure that only highly qualified and independent candidates are proposed and the best candidate is appointed.
The other signatories were:
Art Moves Africa; Khaidja el Bannaoui Arts Rights Justice EU Working Group; Center for Art and Politics; Culture Action Europe; European Music Council; European Off Network; ICORN; IDEA Europe; IETM (International Network for Contemporary Performing Arts); IFCCD, International Federation; IG FreieTheaterarbeit Austria; International Federation of Actors; ITI Action Committee for Artists Rights; Latin American Network on Art for Social Transformation; Roberto Cimetta Fund; and, UNESCO Chair in Cultural Policy for the Arts in Development, Daniel Gad NGO(s) without consultative status, also share the views expressed in this statement.
» Read the full statement (6 pages)