by Steven Ertelt
November 12, 2004
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The United Nations is set to vote late next week on a proposal that would ban all forms of human cloning — for both research and reproductive purposes. The vote pits a coalition of pro-life nations led by the U.S. and Costa Rica against another group headed by Belgium and other European countries that favor some human cloning.
The international body was prepared to vote last month, but held off waiting for the results of the U.S. presidential elections. Had pro-cloning candidate John Kerry won, the American position in favor of banning all cloning would have changed drastically.
Despite criticism from Kerry on issues such as embryonic stem cell research, Bush won and representatives of his administration continue to press for a total human cloning ban.
Some nations hope to broker a compromise between the two groups, saying they want the U.N. to adopt a statement of principle rather than prohibiting human cloning for research purposes, according to a Reuters report.
However, the 63-nation U.S.-Costa Rica coalition will not likely settle for the proposal, as it would allow scientists to continue using human cloning to create and kill unborn children.
"The negotiations are continuing, but a lot of people seem to be resigned to a vote. It seems there is no possibility to reach an agreement," one diplomat told Reuters.
As a result, U.N. General Assembly spokesman Djibril Diallo said a vote has been scheduled for November 19.
During the late October debate 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.
Other nations such as Norway, Australia, Italy, South American countries and the Vatican support the U.S.-Costa Rica measure.
Belgium is attempting to line up additional nations behind the 20 that support its proposal to ban human cloning for reproduction but not for research.
Ittiporn Boonpracong of Thailand and Sweden’s U.N. ambassador, Anders Liden, both said the Belgium idea should move forward. Representatives of Singapore, Britain and India also spoke in favor of the Belgium proposal.