Fourth Session (Paris, 1996)

The Fourth Session of the International Bioethics Committee of UNESCO took place at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, from 3 to 4 October 1996. It was opened in the presence of the former President of the French Republic, Mr Jacques Chirac, and the former Director-General of UNESCO, Mr Federico Mayor.

For this session, the IBC had decided to broaden the range of its discussions to cover the ethical issues raised by the application of plant biotechnology in the food sector, especially with regard to possible consequences on the environment and human health. The IBC also examined the relationship between access to experimental treatment and respect for human rights.

As in the previous session, there was a Round Table in which several prominent personalities took part. This time, the Round Table discussed the topic "Women and Bioethics". Recent advances, especially in genetics and human reproduction, are a cause for reflection, primarily on the part of women. The danger that the new prospects opened up by scientific progress might turn into new forms of constraint for women, especially in the exercise of their responsibilities, was one of the main points of the discussion.

Several prominent figures took part in the Round Table on "Women and Bioethics." Recent advances, especially in genetics and human reproduction, are a cause for reflection, particularly on the part of women. The danger that the new prospects opened up by scientific progress might turn into new forms of constraint for women, especially in the exercise of their responsibilities, was one of the main points of discussion.

Proceedings of the Fourth Session of the IBC (Vol. I and II, PDF, 15 MB)

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