Human Cloning and International Governance (2008-2009)

Subsequent to the publication of the 2007 report Is Human Reproductive Cloning Inevitable: Future options for UN Governance by the Institute of Advanced Studies (UNU-IAS), United Nations University, the Director-General of UNESCO expressed his wish that the International Bioethics Committee (IBC) add the examination of this report to its agenda.

The issue of human cloning and international governance has therefore been added to the work programme of IBC for 2008-2009 and a working group has been established under the chairmanship of Professor (Mr) Toivo MAIMETS (Estonia).

The specific task of the working group is to explore whether the scientific, ethical, social, political and legal developments on human cloning in recent years justify a new initiative at international level, rather than to initiate an ethical and scientific analysis of the issue of human cloning.

The Working Group held its first meeting at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, from 30 June to 2 July 2008 and devoted one day to a public hearing involving a broad-based group of experts in the field.

The preliminary results of its work (Report of the Working Group of IBC on Human Cloning and International Governance) were presented and discussed at the fifteenth session of IBC in October 2008. On this occasion, IBC also benefited from a second round of public hearings with representatives of national bioethics committees (from Brazil, Indonesia and Madagascar) and international scientific organizations (namely the International Society for Stem Cell Research).

On the basis of the discussions at the 15th session and the exchanges with the Intergovernmental Bioethics Committee (IGBC) at the joint session held in October, IBC is now revising and completing its work on this issue, including through other public hearings), with a view to approval by the Committee of its final report to the Director-General at the sixteenth session of IBC in 2009.

Relevant documents

Report of the Working Group of IBC on Human Cloning and International Governance (30 March 2009) [PDF, 160 KB]
Report of the Working Group of IBC on Human Cloning and International Governance (19 September 2008) [PDF, 240 KB]
UNU Report
Report of the first meeting of the working group (July 2008) [PDF, 189 KB]

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