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The Director-General Celebrates 20 Years of Pioneering Work in Bioethics

On 5 September, the Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, opened the 8th session of the Intergovernmental Bioethics Committee (IGBC), held at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris. This year also marks the 20th anniversary of UNESCO’s bioethics programme and the creation of the International Bioethics Committee (IBC).

“In the last twenty years, I believe this is perhaps UNESCO’s greatest achievement – our relentless determination to link ethics with science, to never let scientific development outstrip our ability to weigh it critically against the only standard that matters,” said the Director-General.

“For this anniversary, I also want to bring a message of audacity and encouragement to face the new challenges in science and technology - we need to build on a solid base of bioethics, to reflect on the meaning of informed consent, respect for privacy and confidentiality in this new environment”.

On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the IBC, a roundtable brought together internationally renowned bioethics specialists to discuss UNESCO’s achievements in the past 20 years and the Organization’s role in the field of bioethics within the framework of the Post-2015 Development Agenda.