Limited U.N. Treaty on Cloning Ban Is Put Off for Now

NEW YORK, NOV. 6, 2002 (Zenit.org).- The United States has stalled a Franco-German proposal for a worldwide ban on human cloning that some pro-lifers reject as too narrow, U.N. diplomats told Reuters.

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A British pro-lifer called the delay a «crucial victory.» At issue is whether the treaty should ban solely the cloning of humans, as called for by France and Germany, or whether it should also ban so-called therapeutic or experimental cloning, in which human embryos are cloned and then killed for medical research, Reuters said.

The U.N. General Assembly’s Legal Committee, the panel in charge of the drafting process, had been expected to vote on the opposing approaches by Thursday. But at the last minute, envoys from France, Germany, the United States, Spain and the Philippines agreed to put off the drafting for a year, Reuters said.

Peter Smith, a U.N. representative of the British pro-life Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, said: «This is a crucial victory. A ban on so-called reproductive cloning would have given a signal to countries such as Germany to change their laws to allow so-called therapeutic human cloning, which always involves the destruction of human embryos.»

He added: «We agree with the United States that it is preferable to have no agreement than an unethical one.»

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