The global governance of human cloning: the case of UNESCO
Palgrave Communications 3, Article number: 17019 (2017)
Received 13 October 2016 Accepted 23 February 2017 Published online 21 March 2017
Source/Fonte: Science - How stuff works
Since Dolly the Sheep was cloned in 1996, the question of whether human reproductive cloning should be banned or pursued has been the subject of international debate. Feelings run strong on both sides. In 2005, the United Nations adopted its Declaration on Human Cloning to try to deal with the issue. The declaration is ambiguously worded, prohibiting “all forms of human cloning inasmuch as they are incompatible with human dignity and the protection of human life”. It received only ambivalent support from UN member states. Given this unsatisfactory outcome, in 2008 UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) set up a Working Group to investigate the possibility of a legally binding convention to ban human reproductive cloning. The Working Group was made up of members of the International Bioethics Committee, established in 1993 as part of UNESCO’s Bioethics Programme. It found that the lack of clarity in international law is unhelpful for those states yet to formulate national regulations or policies on human cloning. Despite this, member states of UNESCO resisted the idea of a convention for several years. This changed in 2015, but there has been no practical progress on the issue. Drawing on official records and first-hand observations at bioethics meetings, this article examines the human cloning debate at UNESCO from 2008 onwards, thus building on and advancing current scholarship by applying recent ideas on global governance to an empirical case. It concludes that, although human reproductive cloning is a challenging subject, establishing a robust global governance framework in this area may be possible via an alternative deliberative format, based on knowledge sharing and feasibility testing rather than the interest-based bargaining that is common to intergovernmental organizations and involving a wide range of stakeholders. This article is published as part of a collection on global governance.
Subject terms:Politics and international relations • Science, technology and society
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