Assisting Bioethics Committees (ABC)

The Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights advocates the establishment of independent, multidisciplinary and pluralist ethics committees at national, regional, local or institutional levels.

Bioethics Committees reinforce the role of UNESCO as an international clearing house for ethical issues. Ethics committees will furthermore be one of the most important intermediary bodies for the implementation of the normative instruments adopted by the member states. In many countries, experiences exist with bioethics committees at various levels of government.

However, in the majority of member states, such committees do not exist at the moment. UNESCO has initiated a program to support the establishment and operations of bioethics committees (ABC project – Assisting Bioethics Committees). The primary focus is on National Bioethics Committees involved in policy-advice, public debate and education.

For more information concerning the ABC project, please contact:

Ms Dafna Feinholz
Chief, Bioethics Section
Division of Policies and Programmes
E-mail: d.feinholz(at)
Tel.: +33 (0) 1 45 68 49 94

Ms Orio Ikebe
Programme Specialist, Bioethics Section
Division of Policies and Programmes
E-mail: o.ikebe(at)
Tel: +33 (0) 1 45 68 12 31

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