Delegates of a legal committee of the United Nation's General Assembly have agreed to delay, until September 2003, the drafting of an international treaty that would ban human reproductive cloning.
In September this year, the committee began to draft a UN resolution to ban human reproductive cloning. This was a response to a call from France and Germany last year for a legally binding international treaty. The two countries also wanted restrictions to be placed on the creation of cloned embryos for research purposes.
Talks began in February, but the US claimed that the French and German proposal did not 'go far enough' and requested that a 'comprehensive and global ban' on all forms of cloning and embryo experimentation should be implemented. At the time, delegates from other UN countries objected to the US proposal on the grounds that cloning for research purposes may have the potential to save many lives. More recently, the US has claimed that at least thirty nations, including 'heavily Catholic' countries like Spain and the Philippines, supported its proposal. France and Germany proposed a two-step approach, first dealing with reproductive cloning, and then debating what to do about therapeutic cloning, but the US wants a 'one-step blanket ban on all forms of cloning'.
In September, reports suggested that the entire drafting process would be delayed as no agreement looked like being reached by the committee on whether therapeutic cloning should be included in the treaty. Now, in the light of the 'rift' between the two factions, representatives from France, Germany, Spain, the US and the Philippines, have agreed to delay the treaty drafting process. A US official said the delay was a 'major victory for Washington', but French and German representatives said that the delay was 'only a temporary setback'.
Sources and References
Talks on global cloning ban suspended
US puts off UN ban on human cloning
Washington derails drive at UN for cloning treaty