[KS] Korea Unesco Bioethics
Frank M. Tedesco
tedesco at uriel.net
Wed Jul 8 13:22:27 EDT 1998
> Consensus Building on Bioethics
> Underway by Korea Unesco
> The Korea National Commission for Unesco will hold a
> consensus conference on the ethical issues of biotechnology
> for the first time in Korea in November.
> The conference will serve as a venue for interdisciplinary
> and pluralist ethic discussions involving professionals from
> different areas of expertise, such as science-technology,
> moral philosophy, legal studies, sociology and theology on
> agendas suggested by a citizens' panel. The panel of 10 to 15
> people, screened from among a group of volunteers, will
> devise the agendas during two preparatory meetings.
> At the actual consensus-building conference, which is to run
> for three days in early November, the citizens' panel and the
> experts' panel will expound on the ethical, social and
> environmental problems which have emerged as a byproduce of
> rapid development.
> The results of the conference will be compiled in a booklet
> in order to raise public awareness of these issues and will
> be updated every year via the same procedure.
> The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural
> Organization (Unesco) adopted the Universal Declaration on
> the Human Genome and Human Rights
> at its 29th general congress last November, owing to the
> efforts of the International Bioethics Committee (IBC) formed
> under its umbrella. The IBC, founded in 1993, is manned by 60
> internationally prominent experts in their respective fields.
> Recognizing that research on the human genome and resulting
> applications open up vast prospects for progress in improving
> the health of individuals and of humankind as a whole, the
> manifesto also emphasizes that such research should fully
> respect human dignity, freedom and human rights, as well as
> the prohibition of all forms of discrimination based on
> genetic characteristics.
> As for the citizens panel, anyone with a sound morality who
> is also highly motivated is welcome to apply to have their
> own ideas represented in the course of decision-making on
> science and technology. The panel will be provisional,
> running from mid-August through November.
> The Korean commission has set up a steering committee to seek
> the expertise of its members, which include Prof. Kim
> Hwan-suk of the Kookmin University sociology department, Lee
> Se-young, an IBC member, president Pyon Kwang-ho of the Korea
> Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology, science
> historian Song Sang-yong, who is vice president of the Korea
> Bioethics Association formed in February, secretary-general
> Yu Hak-song of the Korea Science Culture Foundation,
> secretary-general Kim Yong-rak of the Christian Solidarity
> for Environmental Movement and Cho Hung-sop, lifestyles an
> science editor at the Hangyoryeh Shinmun, a vernacular daily.
> In August, some 200 opinion leader's views will be surveyed.
> Commissioned by UNESCO, sociology professor Lee Yong-hee of
> Catholic University will interview journalists, politicians,
> professors, civic campaigners and those engaged in the legal
> profession for that purpose.
> At the government level, the Health-Welfare Ministry has set
> the test guidelines on recombinant DNA and the
> Science-Technology Ministry is rewriting the Biotechnology
> Support Act while the Korea Environmental Policy Assessment
> Institute is preparing for the biosafety protocol set out in
> the International Convention on Biodiversity.
> Rep. Lee Sang-hee, director of policy development at the
> opposition Grand National Party will hopefully present a bill
> to the National Assembly this fall.
> The issue was discussed among representatives of civic
> organizations for the first time in July of last year by
> Green Korea, the Korea Federation for the Environmental
> Movement and the Citizens' Alliance for Consumer Protection.
> The Citizens' Solidarity for Participatory Democracy launched
> a science-technology committee in November, and its
> activities will focus on genetic characteristics.
> (C) COPYRIGHT 1998 THE HANKOOKILBO
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