An Analytical Review of Article 5 of VDPA on Human Rights

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The 1993 Vienna Declaration and Program of Action article 5 states that “all human rights are universal, indivisible and interdependent and interrelated. The international community must treat human rights globally in a fair and equal manner, on the same footing, and with the same emphasis. While the significance of national and regional particularities and various historical, cultural and religious backgrounds must be borne in mind, it is the duty of States, regardless of their political, economic and cultural systems, to promote and protect all human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Since 1999, resolution (A/RES/68/159) titled “Human Rights and Cultural Diversity”, has been sponsored by the NAM countries and adopted in General Assembly by consensus. However, it is adopted by voting mechanism in recent years.

The resolution requests the UN Secretary-General to prepare a report on the present resolution, regarding the recognition and importance of cultural diversity among all peoples and nations in the world.

Some of the UN member states presented their views and comments to the secretary General and the latest report by SG is in document A/68/277.

 

Focus and objectives

The overall objective of the seminar was further developed the concept and definition of Human Rights and Cultural Diversity and promote a coherent approach to operationalize such definition.

The specific objectives of the seminar were:

A) Provide a space for further dialogue for experts, academic and civil society to further clarify and discuss the legal aspects, definition and application of Human Rights and Cultural diversity;

B) Identify and discuss the interaction and links between Cultural Diversity and Human Rights based on the article 5 of the Vienna Declaration and also the relevant resolution in GA; for instance how far cultural diversity can impact on Human Rights and how it could interpret with regard to universal human right.

 

Format of the Seminar

The format of the seminar was consisted of an inter-active dialogue following presentations by invited experts on specific themes, moderated by the Chairperson for the morning and afternoon sessions. Following the presentations made by the experts, the floor was opened for a discussion of experts and participants.