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Para fomentar el debate democrático  
16-11-2006 9:30 am The 13th session of UNESCO’s International Bioethics Committee (IBC) will be held at Organization Headquarters in Paris from 20 to 22 November. This session will focus mainly on two themes, Consent and Social Responsibility and Health.
The session will also be the occasion to present activities carried out or planned in the framework of the promotion and dissemination of the Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights, adopted by UNESCO’s General Conference in 2005. A meeting will be devoted to this topic on 20 November (3.20 p.m.), immediately following the opening ceremony (3 p.m.), in which Koïchiro Matsuura, Director-General of UNESCO, will participate.

At its last session in 2005, in Tokyo, the IBC defined its work programme for 2006-2007 and decided to focus on two principles set forth in the Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights – consent (Articles 6 and 7) and social responsibility and health (Article 14). To this end it set up two working groups. The 13th session will provide the opportunity to examine the groups’ reports on each subject.

The theme of social responsibility and health will be examined from several angles. On 20 November (4 p.m.), two experts, William A. Schabas, from the Irish Centre for Human Rights, National University of Ireland, Galway, and Emilio La Rosa, former Director of the Centre de recherche et d’études santé et société (CRESS, France), will address certain specific aspects in a meeting chaired by Gabriel d’Empaire, Professor of Bioethics at the Central University of Venezuela and Director of the Coronary and Intensive Care Unit at Clínicas Caracas Hospital. On 21 November (10 a.m. to 1 p.m.), Adolfo Martinez-Palomo, Coordinator of the Council of Science and Technology of the Presidency of Mexico, will report on the working group’s results.

The meetings on Tuesday 21 November (3 p.m.) and Wednesday 22 November (10 a.m.) chaired by Aissatou Touré, immunologist and researcher at the Pasteur Institute, Dakar, Senegal, will review consent. Eugenjius Gefenas, Director of the Department of Medical History and Ethics at the University of Vilnius (Lithuania) will present the working group’s preliminary report.

Created in 1993, the International Bioethics Committee is a body of 36 independent experts whose role is to direct international reflection on progress in the life sciences and its applications in order to ensure respect for human dignity and freedom. IBC ensures a better understanding of ethical issues raised by progress in science and technology, thus providing guidance to States in formulating their legislation and policies in the field of bioethics.

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