World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

UN General Assembly Seeks Ban On Human Cloning


General Assembly Approves Declaration Banning All Forms Of Cloning

The United Nations General Assembly today approved a declaration calling on all UN Member States to ban all forms of human cloning, including cloning for medical treatment, as incompatible with human dignity and the protection of human life.

By a vote of 84 in favour, 34 against and 37 abstaining, with 36 absent, the Assembly acted on the recommendation of its Legal, or Sixth, Committee to adopt the text, called the United Nations Declaration on Human Cloning, but some delegates said they opposed banning therapeutic cloning.

The Declaration, negotiated by a Working Group last month, also banned "genetic engineering techniques that may be contrary to human dignity." It called on States "to prevent the exploitation of women in the application of life sciences" and "to protect adequately human life in the application of life sciences."

Those who voted for the Declaration welcomed it as a clear expression of the ethical norms that should guide scientific research.

South Africa, which abstained, said it understood therapeutic cloning to be aimed at protecting human life and not to be, therefore, inconsistent with the Declaration. It would continue to control therapeutic cloning strictly.

The United States, which voted for the Declaration, said its Government's position remained the same as it had recently expressed in the Sixth Committee last year.

A US Government position paper said it supported a total ban on human cloning. It added, however, "Any ban on human cloning should explicitly state that it does not prohibit the development of cell and tissue-based therapies based on research involving cloning technology to produce DNA molecules, organs, plants, tissues, cells (other than human embryos), or animals (other than humans).

"We believe that nations should actively pursue the potential medical and scientific benefits of these scientific methods, which have already enabled researchers to develop innovative drugs to treat diseases."

Some other countries, including the United Kingdom, the Russian Federation, France and India, regretted that there had been no consensus on banning reproductive cloning since they might want to keep their options open on therapeutic cloning.

The British delegate, who voted against, said the Assembly had missed an opportunity to adopt a convention prohibiting reproductive cloning because of the intransigence of those who failed to recognize that other sovereign States might want to permit strictly controlled applications of therapeutic cloning.

Echoing the views of a number of speakers, he said the Declaration was a non-binding political statement, which would not affect his country's position on the issue.

China, which voted against, said the prohibitions in the text might be "misunderstood" as covering all forms of cloning and the Declaration had failed to include the different positions of delegates on ethical, moral and religious concerns.

It noted that it would maintain strict controls over therapeutic cloning.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Rohingya Muslims Massacred: Restrictions On Aid Put 1000s At Risk

Amnesty: The Myanmar authorities’ restrictions on international aid in Rakhine state is putting tens of thousands of lives at risk in a region where mainly Rohingya people are already suffering horrific abuses from a disproportionate military campaign. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

ALSO:

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC