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Report of the International Bioethics Committee of UNESCO on Human Cloning and International Governance
The Division of Ethics of Science and Technology
Sector for Social and Human Sciences

Just available: “Report of the International Bioethics Committee of UNESCO on Human Cloning and International Governance”

Within the framework of its work programme for 2008-2009, the International Bioethics Committee of UNESCO (IBC) has focused on the issue of human cloning and international governance with the aim of exploring whether there is any scientific, social or political change that would justify a new initiative at the international level on this area.

After two years of intensive work, despite the exceptional situation caused by the A(H1N1) influenza epidemic in Mexico City and the consequent postponement of its sixteenth (ordinary) session, IBC considered appropriate to let the Director-General have its conclusions on this issue and, therefore, finalized its Report on Human Cloning and International Governance and transmitted it to the Director-General of UNESCO on 9 June 2009.
The Report of IBC on Human Cloning and International Governance (Ref. SHS/EST/CIB-16/09/CONF.503/2 Rev.) is available in English and French; additional copies can be obtained from the Division of Ethics of Science and Technology, Bioethics Section (ibc@unesco.org) and is also available on-line (www.unesco.org/shs/bioethics).

In this Report, IBC is of the position that “although it may be premature for the international community to engage now in the elaboration of a new binding normative instrument aiming at harmonizing both practices and principles in this area, the issues surrounding the international governance of human cloning cannot be ignored and a focused international dialogue is crucially needed. UNESCO, with its ethical mandate that remains unique within the United Nations system and its normative achievements in the field of bioethics, is in a privileged position to continue this reflection (…)”.

While the Report does not claim to be prescriptive, it could constitute a veritable resource for Member States, organizations and individuals dealing with the issue of human cloning.



This announcement is transmitted through the UNESCO Global Ethics Observatory (GEObs). The GEObs is a system of databases with worldwide coverage in bioethics and other areas of applied ethics in science and technology such as environmental ethics, science ethics and technology ethics. The system currently comprises six databases on ethics experts, ethics institutions, ethics teaching programmes, ethics related legislation and guidelines, codes of conduct and resources in ethics. For more information, please visit the observatory’s website at: www.unesco.org/shs/ethics/geobs