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Bosnia and Herzegovina: UN expert to assess implementation of cultural rights

GENEVA (8 May 2013) – United Nations Special Rapporteur Farida Shaheed will visit Bosnia and Herzegovina from 13 to 24 May 2013 to assess the country’s efforts to enhance the right of all persons to participate in cultural life and to enjoy and access cultural heritage.

“Cultural rights are essential tools for peace and development,” said the independent expert designated by the UN Human Rights Council to monitor and report on the situation of cultural rights, stressing the key role to be played by artists and cultural institutions in this regard.

“I am particularly eager to learn how the country understands the realization of cultural rights in relation to its policies to address the legacies of the war and build social cohesion, mutual respect and understanding between individuals and groups, in all their diversity,” Ms. Shaheed said.

During her 12-day mission, the Special Rapporteur will meet with a wide range of actors in the cultural field, including State cultural institutions, academics and artists, as well as civil society representatives. “I am looking forward to discuss with Government officials at the State, entity and city levels challenges met in the implementation of cultural rights as well as good practices and achievements,” she said.

Ms. Shaheed, who visits the country at the invitation of the Government, will visit Sarajevo, Mostar, Jajce, Banja Luka, Brèko and Srebrenica. She will also visit a number of monuments, memorials and museums.

The Special Rapporteur will hold a press conference on Friday 24 May from 11:00 a.m., at the UN House, Zmaja od Bosne bb, in Sarajevo to share her preliminary conclusions and observations on the visit.

Ms. Farida Shaheed took up her functions as Independent Expert and then Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights in August 2009. She has worked for more than 25 years promoting and protecting cultural rights by fostering policies and projects designed in culturally sensitive ways to support the rights of marginalized sectors, including women, peasants, and religious and ethnic minorities. Ms. Shaheed has been the recipient of several national and international human rights awards, and is an experienced participant in negotiations at international, regional and national levels. Learn more, log on to: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/CulturalRights/Pages/SRCulturalRightsIndex.aspx

UN Human Rights, Country Page – Bosnia and Herzegovina: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/ENACARegion/Pages/BAIndex.aspx

For inquiries and media requests, please contact:
In Sarajevo: Ms. Mylène Bidault, (+ 41 79 752 0486 / mbidault@ohchr.org)
In Geneva: Mr. Marcelo Daher (+41 22 917 94 31 / mdaher@ohchr.org) or write to srculturalrights@ohchr.org.

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts:
Xabier Celaya, UN Human Rights – Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9383 / xcelaya@ohchr.org)

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