by Steven Ertelt
October 23, 2004
New York, NY (LifeNews.com) — With member nations unable to strike a compromise between competing proposals to ban all or some human cloning, the United Nations appears to be holding off on a vote until after the presidential elections.
Some nations believe the direction the UN should take will change drastically depending on who wins.
Nations are divided between a U.S.-Costa Rica proposal sponsored by 63 countries that would ban human cloning for both reproduction as well as research and a 20 member bloc led by Belgium behind a plan to ban only reproductive cloning.
That leaves a large contingent of nations somewhere in the middle, with many preferring to wait either another year to study the issue further or to postpone a vote until after the U.S. presidential elections.
Should President Bush be re-elected, he will continue to press to ban all human cloning.
However, if John Kerry wins, the U.S. position is expected to change as Kerry has co-sponsored a bill in the U.S. Senate that allows human cloning for research.
During the debate last week on the proposals, Bush administration spokeswoman Susan Moore was joined by representatives of other nations such as Kenya and Nigeria in arguing that human cloning for research destroys human life and would exploit women.
Moore, a U.N. envoy, said allowing human cloning for research would create a market for the sale of human eggs in which poor women could be exploited.
"The international community must act now … to send a clear message that human cloning is an affront to human dignity that cannot be tolerated," Moore said.
"A ban that differentiates between human reproductive and experimental cloning would essentially authorize the creation of a human embryo for the purpose of destroying it, thus elevating the value of research and experimentation above that of a human life," Moore added.
Belgium is attempting to line up additional countries behind its proposal.
Ittiporn Boonpracong of Thailand and Sweden’s U.N. ambassador, Anders Liden, both said the Belgium idea should move forward and individual countries should decide themselves whether they want to ban cloning for research purposes.
Representatives of Singapore, Britain and Indiana also spoke in favor of the Belgium proposal.
However, Norway’s diplomat Asmund Eriksen said the U.N. should oppose both forms of cloning "respect for the inviolability of life."
Other nations such as Australia, Italy, South American countries and the Vatican support the U.S.-Costa Rica measure.
South Korea, a country where research on human embryos, tiny human beings, is allowed, has proposed another one year wait on a vote.
In an indication that could occur, Turkey’s representative, Gokcen Tugral, said the 57-member Organization of the Islamic Conference, said the Muslim coalition does not want to force its opinion on any country given the contentiousness of the issue.
The OIC was responsible for pushing for a one-year delay on a human cloning ban vote this time last year.