Bioethics

The social and ethical dimensions of science and technology are central to UNESCO’s mandate, with a priority concern for the most vulnerable segments of society. 

In this regard, bioethics identifies and addresses the ethical dilemmas that scientific advances and their application may pose to the integrity and rights of human beings and communities, both for present and future generations. 

In this context, through the bioethics program, UNESCO continues to provide capacity-building to Member States, promoting international standards in bioethics, including UNESCO’s normative instruments. 

The Organization continues to support the development of national policies in this domain through the establishment of national bioethics committees, and through education, professional training and awareness- raising using the media. IGBC, IBC and COMEST will support the development of ethical frameworks to support science for social inclusion and sustainable development. 

With respect to environmental, legal and social dimensions of ethics, UNESCO builds on the established strengths of its programmess of bioethics, science ethics, ethics of nanotechnologies and environmental ethics while working towards a more integrated and comprehensive vision that better reflects accelerating patterns of scientific and technological convergence. 

UNESCO therefore promotes and reflects on the ethical principles that govern science and its applications, through instruments such as the 2005 Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights and the 1974 Recommendation on the Status of Scientific Researchers; supports national policies to give substance to them, through mechanisms such as the establishment of National Bioethics Committees; and seeks to embed them in routine scientific practice through education, professional training and awareness-raising.

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