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7, Place de Fontenoy
75352 PARIS 07 SP, France


Nurturing the democratic debate.  
16-03-2005 4:00 pm The World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology (COMEST) will hold its fourth session in Bangkok, Thailand, from March 23 to 25. Jointly organized by UNESCO and the Government of Thailand, the session will enable UNESCO to promote ethics of science and technology within the Asia-Pacific region and to take stock of regional views on related issues.
The COMEST session will be opened by Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, the Prime Minister of Thailand, Thaksin Shinawatra; the Minister of Science and Technology of Thailand, Korn Thapparansi; the Director-General of UNESCO, Ko´chiro Matsuura; and the Chairperson of COMEST, Jens Erik Fenstad (Norway). Keynote addresses will be given by Mr Matsuura and Yongyuth Yuthavong, former President of the Thai Academy of Science and Technology.

The following issues will be addressed during the session: ethics education; and environmental ethics (both on the afternoon of March 23); good governance of science and technology; benefit sharing and international cooperation in research; animals and ethics; and human rights and ethics (March 24). Every session will be co-chaired by a member of COMEST and a Thai expert.

On March 23 the Director-General of UNESCO will award the 2004 UNESCO Prize for Human Rights Education to Vitit Muntarbhorn, Professor of Law at Chulalongkorn University (Thailand).

March 25 will be dedicated to a youth forum on the ethics of science, to a round table debate one the ethical use of Genetically Modified Organisms, and to a second round table on ethics and technological innovation.

In another event held on the margins of the COMEST meeting, science and technology ministers from the region will hold a private meeting (March 25). The ministers are expected to adopt a declaration on ethics of science, the Bangkok Declaration, which will be presented by the Minister of Science and Technology of Thailand during the closing session of the COMEST meeting.

The closing session will also feature presentations of reports on the debates and youth forum. Closing addresses will be delivered by the Minister of Science and Technology of Thailand, Assistant UNESCO Director-General for Social and Human Sciences of UNESCO, Pierre SanÚ, and the President of COMEST, Prof. Fenstad, who is concluding his mandate. At this occasion the new president of COMEST will be announced.

Contact: Simone Scholze, Ethics of Science and Technology Section, s.scholze@unesco.org

Source Media Advisory N░2005-15


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