by Steven Ertelt
September 30, 2004
New York, NY (LifeNews.com) — In the first speech the Vatican has ever given at the United Nations, a representative of the Papal state condemned human cloning and called on member nations to support an international treaty calling for a ban on all forms of the grisly practice.
Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo, a Holy See representative, asked U.N. delegates "to draw up and implement a clear convention that will result in a comprehensive ban on human cloning."
Lajolo said the Vatican supports the use of adult stem cells for research rather than destroying tiny unborn children for their embryonic stem cells.
The speech follows one by President Bush last week urging the international body to ban all 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."
Bush administration officials are lobbying leaders from other countries in advance of an expected vote.
Since 1964, the Vatican has had observer status at the United Nations, though abortion advocates, led by Catholics for a Free Choice, have attempted to have it withdrawn.
Only member nations can address the U.N. General Assembly unless the body votes to allow an observer to do so. A resolution in the last session of the U.N. allowed the Vatican to address the body during debate and have other rights normally accorded to the 191 countries that are official members.