San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Costa Rica Celebrates U.N. Declaration on Cloning

COSTA Rica celebrated the U.N.General Assembly’s approval of a declarationagainst human cloning on Feb. 18,according to a statement from theMinistry of Foreign Relations.“For Costa Rica, this is a triumph in thestruggle for the human embryo, life and thedignity of all people,” said Roberto Tovar,Minister of Foreign Relations.Though not the total ban on humancloning Costa Rica had proposed (TT,Dec. 10, 2004; Feb. 11), the U.N. declarationurges member countries to protecthuman life during the application ofcloning technologies. It basically leavesthe controversial decision regardinghuman cloning up to each country’snational legislation.In the statement, Costa Rica’s ForeignMinistry urged U.N. member countries tocreate legislation to ban all types ofhuman cloning, including therapeuticcloning for medical purposes and theapplication of genetic engineering strategiesthat might affront human dignity.The U.N. declaration, adopted with 71votes in favor, 35 against and 43 votersabstaining, also makes reference to theexploitation of women in the application ofthe emerging science, said the statement.Foreign Minister Roberto Tovar presentedCosta Rica’s initiative againsthuman cloning before the SixthCommission of the United Nations lastOctober, in an effort to ban the creationand destruction of human embryos.“My country cannot accept the deliberatecreation of human embryos for theexplicit purpose of destroying themthrough scientific experiments such as theso-called ‘therapeutic’ cloning. We equallyreject the practice of creating copies ofother human beings,” he said.

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