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Intergovernmental Bioethics Committee 

Origin In 1993, the General Conference approved the establishment by the Director-General of UNESCO of the UNESCO International Bioethics Committee (27 C/Res. 5.15). In 1997, the General Conference adopted the Universal Declaration on the Human Genome and Human Rights (29 C/Res. 16) as well as a resolution for its implementation (29 C/Res. 17). At its 154th session, in 1998, the Executive Board approved the statutes of the International Bioethics Committee (IBC) (154 EX/Dec.8.4). In Article 11 of these statutes, the Intergovernmental Committee has been established;
Mission of the International Bioethics Committee International forum to keep abreast of progress in genetics, whilst at the same time taking care to ensure respect for the values of human dignity and freedom in view of the potential risks of irresponsible attitudes in biomedical research.
To promote reflection on the ethical and legal issues raised by research in the life sciences and and their applications; to encourage action to heighten awareness among the general public, specialized groups and public and private decision-makers involved in bioethics.
Mandate of the Intergovernmental Committee In accordance with Article 11 of the Statutes of the IBC, the Intergovernmental Committee examines the advice and recommendations of the IBC, including those concerned with the follow-up of the Universal Declaration. It informs the IBC of its opinions. It submits its opinions to the Director-General for transmission together with the advice and recommendations of the IBC, to the Member States, the Executive Board and the General Conference. It may transmit any proposals for the follow-up of the advice and recommendations of the IBC.

The Council consists of  36 Member States. Their 4-year term of office extends from the end of the ordinary session of the General Conference during which they are elected until the end of its second subsequent ordinary session.

Member States elected at the 31st session until the end of the 33rd session: Azerbaijan, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Kenya, Latvia, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Malawi, Russian Federation, Swaziland, Togo, Uruguay.

Other members of the Committee, elected at the 30th session and whose term of office expires at the end of the 32nd session of the General Conference: Algeria, Benin, Canada, Congo, Cuba, Egypt, Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, Myanmar, Peru, Republic of Korea, Uganda, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Geographical distribution among electoral groups*







Bureau Elected at the 2nd session of the Intergovernmental Committee in May 2001.
Chairperson: Morocco
3 Vice-Chairpersons: Benin, Chile, Hungary
Rapporteur: Canada

Secretary-General of the IBC: UNESCO
Meetings foreseen during the biennium

The IBC meets at least once a year.
The Intergovernmental Committee meets once every two years.
3rd session of the Intergovernmental Committee: February 2003 (to be confirmed)

4th session: June-July 2003.

Sector/Division responsible Social and Human Sciences Sector
Division of Ethics of Science and Technology
URL of the site http://www.unesco.org/ibc/

  As adopted by the Executive Board, in 1998, at its 155th session
   (155 EX/Dec. 9.2).

Current membership of the Intergovernmental Committee
Membership of the Intergovernmental Committee since its establishment
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