The world community quickly needs to reach a compromise that outlaws reproductive cloning or prepare to protect the rights of cloned individuals from potential abuse, prejudice and discrimination, according to authors of a new policy analysis by the United Nations Universitys Institute of Advanced Studies (www.ias.unu.edu).
A legally-binding global ban on work to create a human clone, coupled with freedom for nations to permit strictly controlled therapeutic research, has the greatest political viability of options available to the international community, says the report: Is Human Reproductive Cloning Inevitable: Future Options for UN Governance, released Nov. 12 by A.H. Zakri, Director of UNU-IAS, based in Yokohama, Japan.
Virtually every nation opposes human cloning and more than 50 have legislated bans on such efforts. However, negotiation of an international accord foundered at the UN in 2005 due to disagreement over research cloning (also called therapeutic cloning).
"Human reproductive cloning could profoundly impact humanity," says UN Under-Secretary-General Konrad Osterwalder, Rector of UNU. "This report offers a plain language analysis of the opportunities, challenges and options before us a firm and thoughtful base from which the international community can revisit the issue before science overtakes policy."
Without an international prohibition, human reproductive cloning accomplished in certain countries could be judged perfectly legal by the International Court of Justice, warn UNU-IAS co-authors Brendan Tobin, Chamundeeswari Kuppuswamy, Darryl Macer, Mihaela Serbulea.
Failure to outlaw reproductive cloning means it is just a matter of time until cloned individuals share the planet, says barrister Mr. Tobin of the Irish Center for Human Rights, National University of Ireland, Galway. If failure to compromise continues, the world community must accept responsibili
|Contact: Terry Collins|
United Nations University