UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has voiced his support for the cloning of human embryos for medical research in comments made on Thursday, October 21, at the beginning of a UN debate concerning the prohibition of human cloning.
“Obviously it's an issue for the member states to decide, but as an individual and in my personal view, I think I will go for therapeutic cloning,” said Mr. Annan to reporters at UN headquarters.
All the UN member countries were in agreement on the prohibition of human cloning for reproductive purposes but were divided on the question of creating human embryos for medical experimentation.
At the end of the debate on Friday a vote had not been taken, although the resolution presented by Costa Rica for a total ban on human cloning, including the cloning of embryos for medical experimentation, termed “therapeutic cloning,” had the support of 64 countries, including the Holy See.
An alternative resolution seeking the approval of “therapeutic cloning”was presented by Belgium and supported by 22 countries including the UK, Spain, France and Japan.
In comments on Vatican Radio on Saturday, Archbishop Celestino Migliore, permanent observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, stated that the Holy See opposes all human cloning because “A human life cannot be used to save another and, moreover, in this case a great quantity of embryos would be used."
However, he said that the Holy See was in support of the use of adult stem cells for therapeutic purposes, since it “does not imply the death of human beings in an incipient state of life.”