Tags: U.N. | Resumes | Debates | Human | Cloning | Ban

U.N. Resumes Debates on Human Cloning Ban

Saturday, 30 October 2004 12:00 AM

The Belgian resolution, originally proposed three years ago by France and Germany, is supported by about twenty countries including Cuba, China and Turkey. France supports the partial ban although its domestic legislation bans all cloning and imposes a prison term of up to seven years for human experimental cloning. In a controversial statement last week, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan also expressed support for a partial ban.

Speaking at the debate, the United States expressed commitment to the "protection of life from exploitation under any pretext" and stated that the Belgian proposal "would essentially authorize the creation of a human embryo for the purpose of destroying it," turning "nascent human life into a resource or commodity to be mined and exploited."

Slovakia highlighted its obligation under Article 18 of the 1997 Council of Europe Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine, which "prohibits creation of human embryos for research purposes." Nigeria warned that "developing countries, particularly in Africa, are most likely to be at risk as easy source[s] of millions of embryos required for the so-called therapeutic cloning" because "poverty and ignorance" will expose women to "exploitation by the emerging 'academic entrepreneurs.'"

Speaking for the Belgian proposal, South Korea expressed its view that an embryo created for therapeutic cloning "cannot be properly regarded as a potential human being." Conversely, the UK acknowledged the "important ethical issues" involved in cloning but focused on potential scientific opportunities "not available in any other way."

The UK also alleged that a total ban would "impose a single dogmatic and inflexible viewpoint on the rest of the world," over-riding laws such as that of the UK which allow therapeutic cloning, while a partial ban allows "tolerance" of different national policies.

A vote on the resolutions remains possible this year but has not yet been scheduled as countries await the results of the US Presidential election.

Copyright 2004 - C-FAM (Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute).

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The Belgian resolution, originally proposed three years ago by France and Germany, is supported by about twenty countries including Cuba, China and Turkey. France supports the partial ban although its domestic legislation bans all cloning and imposes a prison...
U.N.,Resumes,Debates,Human,Cloning,Ban
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2004-00-30
Saturday, 30 October 2004 12:00 AM
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