Nordic Ministers of Culture adopt landmark Declaration on Promoting Diversity of Cultural Expressions and Artistic Freedom in a Digital Age

Within the framework of the Finnish 2016 Presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers, the Nordic Ministers of Culture, meeting in Helsinki, Finland, in advance of the World Press Freedom Day celebrations, adopted a Declaration that was presented on the occasion of the side event “Re-shaping Cultural Policies”. This event was organized by UNESCO in cooperation with the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture and the Hanasaari Culture Center for Sweden and Finland at the National Museum of Finland on May 2, 2016  (See News).

This Declaration, recalling that the rights of artists to express themselves freely are under threat worldwide, reaffirms the centrality of artistic freedom within the broader system of fundamental rights.

The six Nordic countries, all Parties to the 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, pledge to support and enhance global monitoring activities undertaken by UNESCO in the areas of artistic freedom, as well of gender equality, civil society participation and challenges of the digital age.

Such monitoring work is at the core of UNESCO’s recent first Global Report to monitor the impact of the implementation of the 2005 Convention, now ratified by 143 Parties.

"I congratulate the Nordic Ministers of Culture for adopting this landmark Declaration. It will give a significant impetus to our work on promoting artistic freedom as a basic human right. UNESCO is committed to this new global agenda and to monitor the impact of the 2005 Convention on the diversity of cultural expressions ", commended Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO.