Since its involvement in promoting international reflection on the ethics of life sciences in the 1970s, UNESCO continues to build and reinforce linkages among ethicists, scientists, policy-makers, judges, journalists, and civil society to assist Member States in enacting sound and reasoned policies on ethical issues in science and technology.
The Organization performs the following major functions:
Laboratory of ideas – addressing the emerging ethical challenges by providing an intellectual forum for multidisciplinary, pluralistic and multicultural reflection on ethics of science and technology – via the:
Standard-setter – pioneering normative action:
Clearing house – developing the Global Ethics Observatory (GEObs) – a free global repository of updated information on ethics institutions, experts, legislation, codes of conduct and teaching programmes around the world.
Capacity-builder – providing Member States with the necessary tools and technical support for the enhancement of their national ethics infrastructure:
Catalyst for international cooperation – cooperating with key international stakeholders in the field of ethics of science and technology and fostering coordination among the major actors through the United Nations Inter-Agency Committee on Bioethics.