Last update: 24 April 2014
The General Assembly, in resolution 56/93 of 12 December 2001, decided to establish an Ad Hoc Committee, open to all States Members of the United Nations or members of specialized agencies or of the International Atomic Energy Agency, for the purpose of considering the elaboration of an international convention against the reproductive cloning of human beings.
The Assembly further decided that the Ad Hoc Committee should meet from 25 February to 1 March 2002 to consider the elaboration of a mandate for the negotiation of such an international convention, including a list of the existing international instruments to be taken into consideration and a list of legal issues to be addressed in the convention. It also recommended that the work continue during the fifty-seventh session of the General Assembly from 23 to 27 September 2002, within the framework of a working group of the Sixth Committee.
The Assembly also
recommended that, upon its adoption of a negotiation mandate, it may decide,
taking into account the acute nature of the problem, to reconvene the
Ad Hoc Committee, in order to open negotiations on the international convention.
of the Ad Hoc Committee (25 February to 1 March 2002)
Working Group of the Sixth Committee (23 - 27 September 2002)
The General Assembly, in its resolution 56/93, recommended that the work of the Ad Hoc Committee continue during the fifty-seventh session of the Assembly from 23 to 27 September 2002, within the framework of a working group of the Sixth Committee.
The Working Group met during those dates and adopted its report (A/C.6/57/L.4) on 27 September 2002.
See too the information document prepared by the Secretariat (document A/AC.263/2002/INF/1/Rev.1)
Sixth Committee - 57th session (2002)
The Sixth Committee, at its 28th meeting, held on 7 November 2002, adopted a draft decision, contained in document A/C.6/57/L.24, in which it decided to convene a working group of the Sixth Committee during the fifty-eighth session of the General Assembly from 29 September to 3 October 2003 in order to continue the work undertaken during the fifty-seventh session. (See: Report of the Sixth Committee A/57/569 and Corr. 1)
The text of the draft decision, together with the proposals for two draft resolutions on the item can be found at the web site of the Sixth Committee (57th session) in its section on documentation under the item entitled international convention against the reproductive cloning of human beings.
Subsequent action taken by the General Assembly (2002)
The General Assembly, on the recommendation of the Sixth Committee, adopted decision 57/512 on 19 November 2002 ((in A/57/49(Vol. II)) in which it, inter alia, decided that a working group of the Sixth Committee would be convened during the fifty-eighth session of the General Assembly from 29 September to 3 October 2003 in order to continue the work undertaken during the fifty-seventh session and that the item entitled International convention against the reproductive cloning of human beings would be included in the provisional agenda of its fifty-eighth session.
Working Group of the Sixth Committee (29 September to 3 October 2003)
The Working Group of the Sixth Committee on an international convention against the reproductive cloning of human beings met in New York from 29 September to 3 October 2003, in accordance with General Assembly decision 57/512.
The Working Group adopted its report (A/C.6/58/L.9) on 3 October 2003
Documents before the Working Group included:
Sixth Committee - 58th session (2003)
The discussion on the topic continued in the Sixth Committee on 20 and 21 October 2003. (see web site of the Sixth Committee)
The delegation of Cuba submitted a further proposal annexed to a Note verbale dated 17 October 2003 from the Permanent Mission of Cuba to the United Nations addressed to the Office of Legal Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat (A/C.6/58/L.15)
At the 23rd meeting of the Sixth Committee, on 6 November 2003, the delegation of Iran, on behalf of the member States of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, moved, under rule 116 of the Rules of Procedure of the General Assembly, to adjourn the debate on the agenda item until the 60th session of the General Assembly (i.e. September 2005).
The motion was carried in the Committee
by a vote of 80 in favour, 79 against and 15 abstentions. No action was
therefore taken on the proposals before the Committee. (See webcast)
The record of the vote was as follows:
Subsequent action taken by the General Assembly (2003)
The General Assembly subsequently considered the report of the Sixth Committee on the agenda item, at its 72nd plenary meeting held on 9 December 2003, and decided, without a vote, to include the item in the provisional agenda of its fifty-ninth session. In doing so, it decided not to take action on the recommendation of the Sixth Committee, nor on a proposal submitted by Costa Rica in the plenary of the Assembly, contained in document A/58/L.37. No provision was made for meeting of the Ad Hoc Committee or the Working Group of the Sixth Committee in 2003.
The Sixth Committee of the General Assembly discussed
the agenda item entitled international convention against the reproductive
cloning of human beings on 21 and 22 October and 19 November 2004.
In decision 59/547 of 23 December 2004, the General Assembly decided to establish a Working Group to finalize the text of a United Nations declaration on human cloning, on the basis of draft resolution (A/C.6/59/L.26) and to report to the Sixth Committee during the current fifty-ninth session. The Working Group shall meet on 14, 15 and 18 February 2005. The Sixth Committee will meet in the afternoon of 18 February to consider and take action on the report of the Working Group.
The working group met on 14, 15 and 18 February and adopted its report (A/C.6/59/L.26). The report of the working group was considered by the Sixth Committee on 18 February 2005. At the same meeting, the Sixth Committee by a recorded vote of 71 to 35 with 43 abstentions, adopted its report (A/59/516/ Add.1) c ontaining in its annex the draft United Nations Declaration on Human Cloning.
The General Assembly took up the Report of the Sixth Committee at its 82nd meeting, held on 8 March 2005. The Assembly adopted General Assembly resolution 59/280, containing the United Nations Declaration on Human Cloning, by a recorded vote of 84 in favour, 34 against and 37 absentions.
The record of the vote was as follows:
Against: Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, China, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Gabon, Iceland, India, Jamaica, Japan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand,Norway, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, Tonga and United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Abstentions: Algeria, Angola, Argentina, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Barbados, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Colombia, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Oman, Pakistan, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Serbia and Montenegro, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Syrian Arab Republic, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, Uruguay, Yemen and Zimbabwe
Subsequently, the delegations of Antigua and Barbuda, The Gambia, Kyrgyzstan, the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Nigeria, Peru and the Russian Federation informed the Secretariat that they had intended to vote in favour; the delegation of Greece informed the Secretariat that it had intended to vote against; the delegations of Botswana and Mali informed the Secretariat that they had intended to abstain.
See the Official record of the 82nd meeting of the General Assembly (A/59/PV.82) for a record of the statements made following the adoption of resolution 59/280.
See also the web site of the Sixth Committee for more information, including documentation as well as on action taken in regard to the agenda item during the fifty-ninth session of the General Assembly (2004)
General Assembly Resolutions