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Ethics and bioethics across the globe discussed in Mexico



National ethics and bioethics committee members from across the globe will convene in Mexico City, Mexico, from 22 to 24 June 2014 for the 10th Global Summit of National Ethics and Bioethics Committees. Participants will exchange opinions, information and experiences on leading issues commanding local, regional, and global attention in the fields of bioethics and ethics of health. The event is co-organized by UNESCO, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Mexican National Bioethics Commission.

The Summit’s agenda includes a review and discussions about

  • the 9th Global Summit held in Tunisia in 2012;
  • the profile, role, and functions of National ethics and bioethics committees (NECs);
  • new technologies which may impact the work of NEC deliberations;
  • public health versus universal health coverage;
  • research ethics and vulnerable groups; and
  • interaction with UNESCO, the World Health Organization (WHO), the Bureau of European Policy Advisers (BEPA), the Council of Europe Committee on Bioethics (DH-BIO), and the World Medical Association (WMA).

Areas of particular attention will also include gender equality; how to define and measure NEC impact on legislation, research and policies; public interest, discussion and involvement with NECs; and the independence and autonomy of NECs in relation to their hosting institution or ministries.

UNESCO will present its analysis of a survey administered to National Ethics and Bioethics Committees ahead of the 10th Global Summit. Its objective is to learn more about the roles and functioning of NECs across the world. In addition, the Organization will present its involvement in bioethics, including a brief summary of its Assisting Bioethics Programme, its work in establishing Core Bioethics Education Curriculum standards and the activites of the International Bioethics Committee, Intergovernmental Bioethics Committee, and COMEST. Avenues for future exploration and cooperation between UNESCO, National Ethics Committees, and other organizations involved in bioethics will also be discussed.

UNESCO, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Mexican National Bioethics Commission are members of the Steering Committee of the Summit.