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.
- Session of the IGBC to elect its Bureau, Paris, France, 25 November 2019
- Eleventh Session, UNESCO Paris, France, 6-7 June 2019
- Joint Session of the IBC and the IGBC / Twenty-fifth (Ordinary) Session of the IBC / Tenth Extraordinary Session of COMEST / Session of the IGBC to Elect its Bureau, UNESCO Paris, France, 11-12 September 2018
- Session of the IGBC to elect its Bureau, UNESCO Paris, France, 11 November 2017
- Tenth Session, UNESCO Paris, France, 19-20 June 2017
- Joint Session of the International Bioethics Committee (IBC) and the IGBC / Extraordinary Session of the IGBC / Twenty-third (Ordinary) Session of the IBC / Ninth Extraordinary Session of the World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology (COMEST), UNESCO Paris, France, 12-16 September 2016
What States are members?
Iran (Islamic Republic of)
Republic of Korea
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland*
* States elected at the 39th session of the General Conference; members of the IGBC until the end of the 41st session (Autumn 2021).
The other States remain members until the end of the 42nd session (Autumn 2023).
** During the 40th session of the General Conference, Group I presented two candidates for four vacant seats, Group III presented three candidates for four seats, and Group IV presented five candidates for six vacant seats in their respective electoral groups. As a result, 18 members were proposed for election by the General Conference at its 40th session. The remaining seats will be open for election at the 41st 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.