General Assembly asked to consider draft resolution on human cloning

1 October 2004

The Legal Committee of the United Nations General Assembly is being asked to adopt a resolution that would set in motion the drafting of an international convention banning reproductive human cloning.

A draft resolution, sponsored by 57 nations and tabled this week, calls for a global pact against human cloning because it "is unethical, morally reproachable and contrary to due respect for the human person."

The resolution states that such a treat would not ban "the use of nuclear transfer or other cloning techniques to produce DNA molecules, organs, plants, tissues, [and] cells other than human embryos or animals other than human beings."

The resolution urges States to ban any research or experiments aimed at human cloning in their own territories pending the drafting of an international convention.

It also calls for States and others to direct funds that might have been used for human cloning to "pressing global issues in developing countries," citing famine, infant mortality and the HIV/AIDS pandemic as examples.

The issue of how and/or whether the world should regulate human cloning technology has in recent times divided the General Assembly: in 2003, delegates agreed to postpone any debate on the subject until this session.