UN General Assembly Calls on Nations to Ban All Forms of Human Cloning

By C-FAM Staff | March 11, 2005

     (NEW YORK – C-FAM)  In a historic pro-life victory, the United Nations has called on all nations of the world to ban all forms of human cloning. The Declaration adopted by the General Assembly on Tuesday urges countries to "prohibit all forms of human cloning inasmuch as they are incompatible with human dignity and the protection of human life."

     Costa Rican Ambassador Bruno Stagno Ugarte called the Declaration "a historic step in the efforts of the international community to promote human rights and to guarantee respect of human dignity in all circumstances." He noted the "undeniable moral and political authority" of the Declaration, which "has received the majority support of the international community and this General Assembly."

     Uganda welcomed the Declaration as "consistent with humanity's responsibility to protect the sanctity of human life." Ethiopia stated that "We hope the moral and legal value of this Declaration to protect human life will prevail against those voices which resent this Declaration."

     84 countries voted in favor of the Declaration, while only 34 voted against it. In addition, at least six countries absent during the vote requested they be recorded as voting in favor, bringing the total to 90 in favor of a total ban on human cloning.

     An East-West split was evident in Europe, where 14 countries voted in favor and 17 against the Declaration. Many Eastern European countries, including Slovakia, Croatia, Poland and Russia, voted for the total ban on human cloning. They were joined by a few Western European countries including Italy, Germany and Ireland. France, Spain and Belgium voted against the ban.

     Ambassador Ugarte of Costa Rica commented that "it is surprising and sad that at the beginning of the 21st Century, certain delegations have objections to a text which calls upon states to protect human life. Basically, their rejection of this text is recognition that the badly denominated 'therapeutic cloning' requires the creation of a new human life with the explicit aim of destroying it for purposes of scientific research."

     British Ambassador Emyr Jones Parry expressed the UK's defiance of the Declaration, stating that "The UK government announced this week more than $2 billion of funding over the next three years for biotechnology research, including stem cell research."

     The UK is pressing ahead with embryo destructive research despite a recent media scandal over its developing trade in Romanian embryos. To prevent the exploitation of women, the UK does not permit payment to donors for their eggs. However, to supplement the shortage of eggs in British fertility clinics, the British Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority has allowed UK clinics to import Romanian embryos, despite credible reports that Romanian women are paid high amounts for their eggs.

     The extraction of human eggs is a high-risk procedure with potentially grave consequences to the life and health of women. Women have been reported to die as a result of egg donation. The UN Declaration adopted on Tuesday calls upon countries to "prevent the exploitation of women in the application of life sciences."