The UNESCO Bioethics Programme: a review

Langlois, Adele (2014) The UNESCO Bioethics Programme: a review. The New Bioethics, 20 (1). pp. 3-11. ISSN 2050-2877

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UNESCO’s Bioethics Programme was established in 1993. In twenty years it
has adopted three international declarations, on the human genome (1997),
human genetic data (2003) and bioethics (2005); produced reports on a
wide range of bioethics issues; and developed capacity building and public
education programmes in bioethics. Yet UNESCO has sometimes struggled
to assert its authority in the wider bioethics world. Some bioethicists have
criticized the 2005 declaration and suggested that the World Health
Organization might be better placed to advance bioethics. In 2011, after
four years of debate, UNESCO decided not to draft a convention on human
reproductive cloning, because consensus on the issue proved impossible.
This article reviews the standard setting and capacity building activities of
the UNESCO Bioethics Programme. While the Programme faces challenges
common to most intergovernmental organizations, its achievements in
expanding international law and building bioethics capacity should not be

Keywords:UNESCO, bioethics, human rights, JCOpen
Subjects:L Social studies > L250 International Relations
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Social & Political Sciences
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ID Code:13901
Deposited On:08 May 2014 16:24

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