October 2008 – With the progress of science and technology and with questions arising on globalization, ethical issues – in particular bioethics, concern us all. In response, UNESCO has proposed an institutional framework for collective discussion. It calls for NGOs to take part in bioethics education and information, bringing closer biomedical and environmental ethics.
Various UNESCO resources have been created, such as the GEObs data bank and programmes to assist with establishing bioethics committees. Also, different activities have been organized to facilitate civil society to participate in the implementation of bioethical education and training. Specific workshops organized at the International Conference of NGOs (Paris, December 2007) contributed to the development of an ethical code of conduct for scientists.
Some of the main questions now being considered are: How to teach/educate bioethics? Who can claim this competence? How to reconcile cultural identities and universal standards? Bioethics education for whom?
GWI has been invited to answer these questions, and to put forward its objectives and priorities as special attention will be given to ethical questions related to basic human rights, like health and procreation (woman, mother, and child), hygiene, nutrition, environment and sustainable development.