by Steven Ertelt
September 21, 2004
New York, NY (LifeNews.com) — President Bush, in a speech Tuesday to the U.N. General Assembly, asked member countries to pass a treaty that would allow the drafting of a resolution calling on nations around the world to ban all forms of human cloning.
"Because we believe in human dignity, we should take seriously the protection life from exploitation under any pretext," the president explained.
"In this session, the U.N. will consider a resolution sponsored by Costa Rica calling for a comprehensive ban on human cloning," President Bush said. "I support that resolution, and urge all governments to affirm a basic ethical principle: No human life should ever be produced or destroyed for the benefit of another."
Meanwhile, Bush administration officials are lobbying leaders from other countries in advance of an expected vote.
A senior U.S. diplomat met with officials in Qatar, a Middle Eastern country, two weeks ago hoping to get the Muslim country to back the resolution.
Sichan Siv, the U.S. representative to the U.N. Economic and Social Council (Ecosoc), said more than 60 other countries were actively supporting the human cloning ban proposal.
However, a smaller group of countries, led in part by England, opposes the full ban. They want to ban only reproductive cloning so research that clones and kills human embryos can continue.
The tension between the two sides prompted a bloc of more than 50 Islamic nations, led by Iran, to propose delaying the vote for two years so the issue could be studied further. Advocates of the partial ban joined forces with them while the Bush administration lobbied heavily in an attempt to defeat it.
The U.N. General Assembly vote was close with 80 countries voting favor of the delay, 79 voting against it and 15 abstaining.
The Bush administration and its anti-cloning allies were eventually able to persuade other countries to reduce the delay to one year. This means the proposal will be taken up by the U.N. when it begins its next session in October.
Related web sites:
U.N. Human Cloning Ban Committee –