The global governance of human cloning: the case of UNESCO

Langlois, Adele (2017) The global governance of human cloning: the case of UNESCO. Palgrave Communications, 3 (17019). ISSN 2055-1045

Full content URL: http://www.palgrave-journals.com/articles/palcomms...

Documents
palcomms201719.pdf
[img]
[Download]
[img]
Preview
PDF
palcomms201719.pdf - Whole Document
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International.

290kB
Item Type:Article
Item Status:Live Archive

Abstract

Since Dolly the Sheep was cloned in 1996, the question of whether human reproductive cloning should be banned or pursued has been the subject of international debate. Feelings run strong on both sides. In 2005, the United Nations adopted its Declaration on Human Cloning to try to deal with the issue. The declaration is ambiguously worded, prohibiting “all forms of human cloning inasmuch as they are incompatible with human dignity and the protection of human life”. It received only ambivalent support from UN member states. Given this unsatisfactory outcome, in 2008 UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) set up a Working Group to investigate the possibility of a legally binding convention to ban human reproductive cloning. The Working Group was made up of members of the International Bioethics Committee, established in 1993 as part of UNESCO’s Bioethics Programme. It found that the lack of clarity in international law is unhelpful for those states yet to formulate national regulations or policies on human cloning. Despite this, member states of UNESCO resisted the idea of a convention for several years. This changed in 2015, but there has been no practical progress on the issue. Drawing on official records and first-hand observations at bioethics meetings, this article examines the human cloning debate at UNESCO from 2008 onwards, thus building on and advancing current scholarship by applying recent ideas on global governance to an empirical case. It concludes that, although human reproductive cloning is a challenging subject, establishing a robust global governance framework in this area may be possible via an alternative deliberative format, based on knowledge sharing and feasibility testing rather than the interest-based bargaining that is common to intergovernmental organizations and involving a wide range of stakeholders. This article is published as part of a collection on global governance.

Keywords:Cloning, UNESCO, Bioethics, Global governance
Subjects:L Social studies > L240 International Politics
C Biological Sciences > C420 Human Genetics
M Law > M130 Public International Law
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Social & Political Sciences
ID Code:26807
Deposited On:22 Mar 2017 16:18

Repository Staff Only: item control page