UN resolution seeks human cloning ban

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The Independent Online

Britain rejected a non-binding United Nations resolution seeking a blanket ban on human cloning last night, after a vote that pitted the US against many of its European allies.

Britain rejected a non-binding United Nations resolution seeking a blanket ban on human cloning last night, after a vote that pitted the US against many of its European allies.

After the resolution was passed by a large majority, Emyr Jones Parry, the British ambassador to the UN, described the resolution as "a weak, non-binding political statement" that did not reflect any form of consensus.

"It will not affect the United Kingdom's strong support of stem cell research," Mr Jones Parry said, noting that the Government has announced £1m in state funding for stem cell and other research over the next three years.

The resolution caps a four-year battle over whether to ban all cloning or to allow cloning for research. Although the anti-cloning lobby always was in a majority, it lacked the support for a global treaty.

The resolution urges UN member states to "prohibit all forms of human cloning in as much as they are incompatible with human dignity and the protection of human life".

The United States was joined by many African, Arab and Latin American states in voting for it. The resolution's opponents were mainly from Europe and Asia, led by Britain, the Netherlands and South Korea.

The resolution also calls for a ban on genetic engineering techniques "that may be contrary to human dignity", and for measures "to prevent the exploitation of women in the application of life sciences".

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