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The Ethical Mandate of unesco

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image of Max Planck Yearbook of United Nations Law Online

Complying with the statutory mission of promoting collaboration in science the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (unesco) perceives an ethical mandate which commenced in the 1970s and has been object of ongoing establishment regarding its integration into the human rights framework and its institutionalization ever since. The main achievements within this mandate are so far unesco’s standard-setting activities, among which the most important are three universal declarations, and its field work based on different ethical projects which aim at expanding capacities, coordination and the international cooperation within bioethics. As for the ethical achievements in 2014, these are basically rooted in the Medium-term Strategy 2014–2021 and manifested in the working program of International Bioethics Committee (ibc) for 2014–2015. They were discussed in and already partly realized through the Joint Session of the ibc and the Intergovernmental Bioethics Committee and the meetings of the 21st Session of the ibc. Together with unesco’s field work in 2014, the progress is important regarding the role of ethics within the human rights framework; the cooperation between unesco’s bioethical committees; the involvement of organizations in the work of unesco; and its future standard-setting activities.


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