Is Human Reproductive Cloning Inevitable: Future Options for UN Governance

Tobin, Brendan, Kuppuswamy, Chamundeeswari, Macer, Darryl and Serbulea, Mihaela (2007). Is Human Reproductive Cloning Inevitable: Future Options for UN Governance. United Nations University Press.

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  • Author Tobin, Brendan
    Kuppuswamy, Chamundeeswari
    Macer, Darryl
    Serbulea, Mihaela
    Title Is Human Reproductive Cloning Inevitable: Future Options for UN Governance
    Publication Date 2007-04-01
    Place of Publication Tokyo
    Publisher United Nations University Press
    Pages 29
    Language eng
    Abstract This report evaluates the responses of the United Nations to the questions of human cloning governance. The difference between reproductive human cloning and using of cloning technology for research is explained followed by an ethical analysis of cloning. Discussion of ethics at the UN level often brings to mind the notion of deep, profound, commonly held principles to guide human actions. While general ethical principles, such as the principle of doing no harm in medical practice, are widely respected, the question of what amounts to harm is less easily defi ned. The debate on reproductive and research cloning has demonstrated the diversity of ethical beliefs. It is interesting, for instance, that while there is an almost complete consensus amongst countries with regard to the need to ban reproductive cloning, a number of academics and some religious groups do not necessarily believe that such cloning is unethical. The analysis of the ethical considerations revolves around the questions of - human dignity, what is natural, human health, social justice, freedom of research and choices. The UN General Assembly Cloning debate evolved from calls for a Convention to the formulation of a Declaration, as a way to bridge the division over the international governance issues. The United Nations Declaration on Human Cloning (A/RES/59/280) was thus adopted on 8th of March, 2005. The Declaration was passed with 84 countries supporting it, 34 against, while 37 abstained. Comparisons are made between the reasoning of countries for and against the Declaration. Research efforts on reproductive as well as therapeutic cloning continue to be governed by national law and policy. The Formation of Customary International Law is reviewed, and the report concludes that an analysis of existing municipal legislation on cloning indicates strong evidence of state practice and opinio juris supporting the prohibition of reproductive cloning. In the case of reproductive cloning, over 50 countries have legislated to ban reproductive cloning and there is no country that legislated to allow the practice. The Universal Declaration on the Human Genome and Human Rights, approved by UNESCO General Conference in 1997, was endorsed unanimously by the General Assembly, as a prohibition on reproductive cloning. There is however no consensus on use of human embryos for research cloning, as described. Future options for international governance of cloning could include further work by UNESCO IBC on the issue of reproductive and research cloning, in the context of resolution A/RES/59/280 and also in the context of the Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights, which was adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO on the 19th of October 2005. The UN GA Sixth committee takes up the issue of customary international law on cloning. The current status quo is one option, but the report presents discussion relevant to the different options that exist to establish temporary moratorium, total bans or to leave the decision to the national governments. The report hopes to contribute to dissemination, discussion and debate on cloning issues at the international level, so that all countries including the developing and least developed countries can participate and put forward their concerns regarding this new technology. This issue however is one that affects all of humanity, and the report is intended to provide a basis on which the international community may wish to revisit the issue of human cloning, at a time which may be not too distant.
    Copyright Holder United Nations University Press
    Copyright Year 2007
    Copyright type All rights reserved
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    Created: Mon, 29 Jun 2015, 16:57:08 JST by Ayumi Akiyama on behalf of UNU IAS