ABSTRACT

The three declarations – the Universal Declaration on the Human Genome and Human Rights (1997), the International Declaration on Human Genetic Data (2003) and the Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights (2005) – are by nature non-binding. They are, nevertheless, the product of an intergovernmental body and thus qualitatively different (some would claim) to the bioethics guidelines and codes of conduct devised by professional organizations. This has implications for what UNESCO can demand of its member states and, conversely, what member states can expect of UNESCO. Focusing especially on dissemination and capacity-building activities, this chapter examines the content and strength of the UNESCO norms and the organization’s efforts to ensure they are realized. It also assesses the degree to which these efforts overlap with those of the WHO and the potential long-term repercussions of UNESCO’s failure to agree on a binding convention on human cloning.