Fifth Session (Noordwijk, 1998)

At the kind invitation of the Government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Fifth Session of  the IBC was held in Noordwijk, the Netherlands, from 2 to 4 December 1998.

The opening ceremony was honoured by the presence of Her Majesty the Queen of the Netherlands. H. Ex. Mrs Vigdís Finnbogadóttir, Former President of the Republic of Iceland and Chairperson of the World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology of UNESCO (COMEST), Mr Federico Mayor, Director-General of UNESCO, and Mr Stephen Schwebel, President of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), took part in the opening ceremony.

The topics on the agenda of this session were "Bioethics and Women's Rights" and "Ethics and Preventive Medicine". The IBC devoted a session to the presentation of the results of the working group, established in 1996, in particular concerning to the status of the report entitled "Women's Health, Bioethics and Human Rights" which gives an assessment of the situation of women and the discriminations to which they are subjected with regard to health.

Another session afforded the opportunity to examine the impact, from both a short and long term perspective, of the application of new technologies in the biomedical field.

Moreover, in accordance with article 24 of the Universal Declaration on the Human Genome and Human Rights, the IBC devoted a working session, chaired by H. Ex. Mr Héctor Gros Espiell, to the implementation of the Declaration.

Finally, as with the previous sessions, a round table was organised. Representatives from the pharmaceutical and agro-alimentary industries as well as members of the IBC gathered together around the theme "Ethics and Uses of Genetic Engineering in Industry". On this occasion, the discussions underlined the increasing importance given by industry to ethical reflection and the role it can play in the promotion of public debate.


  • Proceedings of the Fifth Session of IBC (Vol. I, PDF, 362 KB): this volume contains the report of the fifth session of IBC, the speeches delivered and the list of participants.
  • Proceedings of the Fifth Session of IBC (Vol. II, PDF, 4 MB): this multilingual volume contains all the contributions, especially by members of IBC, on the topic "Ethics and Preventive Medicine", as well as the contributions of participants at the Round Table.
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