[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                     
>               07/06
>               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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