8th Session of the Intergovernmental Bioethics Committee (IGBC)

The 8th Session of the IGBC was held at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris on 5 and 6 September 2013.

This session was mainly devoted to examining the work done by the International Bioethics Committee (IBC) in the 2012-2013 biennium. The IGBC examined the Report of the IBC on Traditional Medicine Systems and their Ethical Implications as finalized by the IBC in February 2013; and the Draft Report of the IBC on the Principle of Non-Discrimination and Non-Stigmatization which was discussed during the 20th Session of the IBC.

Members of the IGBC also expressed their opinion on the preliminary future work programme of the IBC for 2014-2015.

Furthermore, in order to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the UNESCO Bioethics Programme, two items on the agenda provided a retrospective look at past achievements and lessons learnt, and a forward looking perspective on the future of UNESCO’s actions in the field of bioethics.

The following Member States of IGBC were represented: Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, Côte d’Ivoire, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Germany, Greece, India, Indonesia, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Mexico, New Zealand, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, Serbia, Thailand, Tunisia, United Republic of Tanzania, Venezuela and Zambia.

As the outcome of the session, IGBC approved a number of conclusions [PDF] which are included in the final report of the meeting.

Decision related to the election of the next IGBC Bureau

The IGBC also unanimously decided to suspend Rules 12.1 and 12.2 of its Rules of Procedure for the election of its next Bureau, and authorized the Secretariat to conduct this election in English and French only. This election is proposed to take place during or immediately after the 37th General Conference, and the Secretariat will inform all Member States of IGBC and of UNESCO as soon as a suitable date, time and venue have been confirmed with the Secretariat of the General Conference.

Celebration event for the 20th Anniversary of Bioethics at UNESCO

A celebration event for the 20th Anniversary was also held during the afternoon of Friday, 6 September 2013, after the official closure of the 8th Session of the IGBC. This event highlighted UNESCO’s achievements in bioethics for the past two decades, as well as engaged prominent bioethicists and the general public in a discussion about emerging challenges for bioethics.

Final Report (in PDF format)

Information Documents (in PDF format)

Working Documents (in PDF format)


Secretariat, Bioethics Programme
Division of Ethics and Global Change
Tel.: + 33 (0)1 45 68 38 57 / 39 45
Fax: + 33 (0)1 45 68 55 15
E-mail: ibc(at)unesco.org

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