Communications Department

U.N. General Assembly Adopts Declaration Urging Ban on All Forms of Human Cloning

Mar 8, 2005 | 2005 Press Releases

The U.N. General Assembly voted today to adopt a U.N. Declaration calling on member states to “prohibit all forms of human cloning inasmuch as they are incompatible with human dignity and the protection of human life” and to “adopt all measures necessary to protect adequately human life in the application of life sciences.”  

Jeanne E. Head, R.N., U.N. representative for National Right to Life, stated, “We are pleased that U.N. has finally acted to protect human life by calling on member states to ban all forms of human cloning.  Cloning and killing living human embryos to obtain their stem cells for experimentation is unethical and unnecessary.  Adult stem cells are the only stem cells that have helped thousands of patients, including those with spinal cord injuries and diseases like Parkinson’s, and new clinical uses expand almost weekly.” 

The Declaration was strongly supported by the United States, Costa Rica, and Italy and was sponsored by Honduras.  The recorded vote was 84 to 34 (with 37 abstentions).   At least six countries reported that they had missed the vote and asked that, for the official record, their votes be recorded as yes, bringing the total countries supporting the Declaration to 90. 

“The Declaration is an important and significant step toward recognizing the dignity of all members of our human family and protecting all human life,” said Head.  “We look to the U.S. Congress now to put an end to the cloning and killing of human embryos.” 

As adopted by the General Assembly, the Declaration has essentially the same immediate effect as the passage of the Costa Rican Resolution (which called for a Convention to Ban all human cloning) would have had.  The Costa Rican Resolution would have no legal effect for several years due to the long process of negotiations and ratification and would only legally bind those countries ratifying it.  Both send a strong message that the world community wants countries to pass legislation banning all forms of human cloning. 

Member states were also urged to introduce measures to “prevent exploitation of women,” as delegates from developing countries feared that women from poor countries would be targeted for the large number of women’s eggs that would be needed to support these “egg farms.”  The procedure by which eggs are extracted from these vulnerable women is extremely painful and dangerous to their health and lives. 

National Right to Life is the nation’s largest pro-life group with affiliates in all 50 states and over 3,000 local chapters nationwide. National Right to Life works through legislation and education to protect those threatened by abortion, infanticide and euthanasia.