Human Cloning: International Bioethics Committee President Stresses Political And Moral Commitment

Paris, January 16 - The President of UNESCO's International Bioethics Committee, Nolle Lenoir, today reiterated that the Declaration on the Human Genome and Human Rights bans reproductive human cloning and stressed that this text must be implemented by States "which must translate its principles and provisions into their legislation."

Here is the full text of Ms Lenoir's statement:

"As the European Parliament, following other international bodies such as the Council of Europe, prepares to request an international ban on reproductive human cloning, UNESCO Director-General Federico Mayor reiterated the position unanimously expressed by all Member States as they adopted, on November 11, 1997, the Declaration on the Human Genome and Human Rights.

"The Declaration which embodies the political and moral commitment of the international community was, in fact, approved by UNESCO's 186 Member States, with the support, expressed in a solemn declaration, of the United States. Indeed, Article 11 of the Declaration stipulates: "Practices which are contrary to human dignity, such as reproductive cloning of human beings, shall not be permitted. States and competent international organisations are invited to co-operate in identifying such practices and in determining, nationally or internationally, appropriate measures to be taken to ensure that the principles set out in this Declaration are respected."

The Declaration has already born fruit. It is expressly referred to in the opinion of the Group on Ethics of the European Commission in Brussels dated May 28, 1997. The President of the Commission, Jacques Santer, declared he would follow the opinion which condemns in the strongest terms the reproductive cloning of human beings. Also, several heads of state and government have expressed a similar position, tending towards the legislative interdiction of cloning. This is notably the position of United States President Bill Clinton. '"/>

Contact: Andrew Radolf
212 963 5974

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