Intergovernmental Bioethics Committee meeting at UNESCOUNESCO’s Intergovernmental Bioethics Committee (IGBC) will meet July 7 at Paris Headquarters (10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Room IV) to review progress on the elaboration of the Declaration on Universal Norms on Bioethics.
In October 2003, UNESCO’s General Conference asked for the declaration by inviting Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura to pursue preparatory work begun by the International Bioethics Committee (IBC) in its 2002-2003 preliminary studies. The IBC* has taken on the first stage of the elaboration of the future declaration. A drafting group, headed by Australian High Court Judge Michael Kirby, has already held two meetings to this end, while wide-ranging consultations are being organized to ensure that all of the different perceptions of ethical and legal issues are taken into account.
The IGBC information meeting is taking place within this framework. The Committee will be informed of the work in progress and will exchange views on a first draft outline** of the future declaration, produced in the drafting group’s first two meetings.
The IGBC comprises 36 Member States whose representatives meet at least once every two years to examine the advice and recommendations of the IBC. It informs the IBC of its opinions and submits these opinions along with proposals for follow-up of the IBC’s work to the Director-General for transmission to Member States, the Executive Board and the General Conference.
* The IBC previously prepared the Universal Declaration on the Human Genome and Human Rights, and the International Declaration on Human Genetic Data.
**The text of the first draft is available at: http://portal.unesco.org/shs/en/ev.php-URL_ID=5343&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201.html
Journalists wishing to cover the work of the IGBC must be accredited by UNESCO’s Press Relations Section, tel.: 01 45 68 17 48; fax: 01 45 68 56 52