Extraordinary Session of COMEST, Paris, France, 14-15 May 2004

An extraordinary session of the World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology (COMEST) took place at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris on 14 and 15 May 2004.

The aim was to welcome the new members of COMEST and to discuss the revitalization of the Commission in its working methods, procedures and workplans. At that occasion, a consensus emerged that a revitalized COMEST is critically important for advising UNESCO in its mandate to guide Member States in the face of the ethical challenges presented by rapid scientific and technological change.

In the 2004-2005 biennium, the priority of science and technology within UNESCO’s programme was emphasized. In the decisions taken during its 169th session, UNESCO's Executive Board requested the Director-General, with the advice of COMEST, to undertake studies on the advisability of drafting an international instrument on the ethics of outer space and on an international declaration on science ethics that could serve as a basis for an ethical code of conducts for scientists, as well as on possible international action in the field of environmental ethics. COMEST has responded positively to these requests. Experts groups were set up to prepare policy documents to be submitted to the session of COMEST in 2005.

The meeting was opened by UNESCO's Director-General and closed by Pierre Sané, Assistant Director-General of UNESCO for Social and Human Sciences.

Proceedings [PDF, 727 KB]

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