Building peace in the minds of men and women

Intergovernmental Bioethics Committee (IGBC)

The Intergovernmental Bioethics Committee (IGBC) was created in 1998, under Article 11 of the Statutes of the International Bioethics Committee (IBC). It is comprised of 36 Member States whose representatives meet at least once every two years to examine the advice and recommendations of the IBC. It informs the IBC of its opinions and submits these opinions along with proposals for follow-up of the IBC's work to UNESCO's Director-General for transmission to Member States, the Executive Board and the General Conference.

What States are members?

Argentina*
Austria*
Belgium*
Brazil
Colombia*
Côte d’Ivoire*
Democratic People’s
  Republic of Korea
Finland
 

France
Germany
Iran (Islamic Republic
  of)*
Japan*
Jordan*
Kenya
Latvia
Libya*
 

Madagascar
Mauritania*
Mexico*
Mozambique*
Namibia
Panama
Portugal
Republic of Korea*
Russian Federation*

Singapore
Slovakia
Sri Lanka*
Sudan*
Thailand*
Togo*
Uruguay
Zimbabwe

* States elected at the 40th session of the General Conference; members of the IGBC until the end of the 42nd session (Autumn 2023).

The other States remain members until the end of the 43rd session (Autumn 2025).

** During the 41st session of the General Conference, Group I presented four candidates for five vacant seats, Group II presented two candidates for three seats, and Group Va presented four candidates for five seats in their respective electoral groups. As a result, 15 members were proposed for election by the General Conference at its 41st session. The remaining seats will be open for election at the 42nd session of the General Conference.

 

How are the members chosen?

The 36 Member States are elected by UNESCO's General Conference taking into account cultural diversity and balanced geographical representation. Members serve for terms of about four years, from the end of the ordinary session of the General Conference in which they are elected until the end of the second subsequent ordinary session.

 

Who can participate in IGBC sessions?

  • Member States, Associate Members of UNESCO may take part as official observers in the meetings of the IGBC, while non-Member States that have set up a permanent observer mission may do so at the invitation of the Director-General.
  • The United Nations and the other organizations of the United Nations system that have an agreement with UNESCO for reciprocal representation may also take part as observers in the meetings of the IGBC.
  • International governmental or non-governmental organizations with similar objectives to those of the IGBC may be invited to take part as observers in the meetings of the IGBC.
  • Specialists or other relevant persons or groups may be consulted on matters within the competence of the IGBC.

 

Bureau

Chairperson

  • Ms Immolatrix Geingos (Namibia)

Vice-Chairpersons

  • Latvia
  • Panama
  • Portugal
  • Singapore