Visit of the UN special rapporteur on cultural rights at the H4C

Extract from the preliminary findings of the special rapporteur on cultural rights following her country mission to Cyprus, 2 June  2016 

" I salute religious leaders who have chosen to try to be part of the solution rather than the problem through the Religious Track process and encourages them to continue their efforts. Concerns have been expressed to me from a variety of stakeholders however, about the cultural rights impact of any process which enhances the role of religious leaders vis-à-vis others, in particular because of the complete lack of women leaders, and the fact that in addition to religions, secularism is also an important part of Cypriot culture for many.

 Hence, I suggest not only supporting the Religious Track, but also multiplying the tracks through which people of good will on different sides of the various divides can work together. For example, I would like to see the creation of consortia of academics and scholars from all regions of Cyprus, coming together to identify shared research agendas and take forward investigations of core issues, like the standards for excavation, the meanings of cultural heritage, historical narratives, and the history of communal relations. While I recognize that this is not currently possible at the institutional level, even though in my view this would be entirely separate from any question of recognition, I also believe that it cannot be carried out by individuals alone. Therefore, creative, intermediate, shared and widely accessible spaces, venues and engagements must be created to enable such exchanges. Those spaces that already exist such as the vital Home for Cooperation should be fully supported.

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