30.04.2009 - UNESCO Social and Human Sciences

Guinea establishes National Bioethics Committee

In the context of the UNESCO project Assisting Bioethics Committees (ABC), the Republic of Guinea has established a National Bioethics Committee. The Committee has been created by decree of the Minister of Education and Scientific Research.

The mandate of the Committee is

  1. to formulate legislation and national policies in the area of bioethics,
  2. to implement programs of information and to disseminate knowledge concerning bioethics, and
  3. to follow-up the activities of the International Bioethics Committee in cooperation with the Division of Ethics of Science and Technology of UNESCO.

The newly established committee of the Republic of Guinea has 19 members. Professor Ibrahima Boiro, Director of the Center of Environmental Studies and Research of the University of Conakry has been appointed as the Chair of the Committee. Members are representing the ministries of health, research, agriculture, environment and justice, the Catholic Church, the Secretariat of Religious Affairs, the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Conakry, the University of Sonfonia, and the National Commission for UNESCO.

On April 6, 2009 a Memorandum of Understanding has been signed between the National Bioethics Committee of Guinea and UNESCO to assure cooperation for the next three years. A training course in working methods has been provided to the members of the committee in Conakry on April 6 and 7, 2009 by UNESCO experts. A documentation package of relevant bioethics materials has been provided in the context of cooperation with the International Bioethics Exchange Project of the Kennedy Institute of Ethics Library in Georgetown University, USA. A second training in bioethics will be organized in 2010.

The Republic of Guinea is the fourth country to join the ABC project of UNESCO. The newly formed National Bioethics Committees of Togo, Ghana and Jamaica previously signed an agreement of cooperation with UNESCO.

The establishment of National Bioethics Committees follows the recommendations of the Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights, adopted by UNESCO in 2005. The mandate and mission of a National Bioethics Committee is generally focused on policy advice, public debate and ethics education, and therefore wider than the scope of a research ethics committee. </font></font>




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