.- Several pro-life groups that monitor UN activities are alerting Latin Americans to urge their governments to support an international convention proposed by Costa Rica that would prohibit all forms of human cloning.
Between October 21 and 22, the UN will debate the Costa Rican proposal, which currently has the support of the United States, Italy and other countries.
The only Latin American nations that have signed on as cosponsors of the proposal are Chile, El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay and the Dominican Republic. Pro-life groups are asking citizens whose countries are on the list to express their thanks and support to their governments. But "if your country is not on the list of cosponsors, try to get it to support and above all to vote in favor of this resolution."
The international convention proposed by Costa Rica recognizes "the rapid evolution of biological science and the ethical questions that some of its applications raise with respect to the dignity of the human race, human rights and the fundamental rights of the person."
It also argues that "human cloning, for whatever purpose, is unethical, morally reprehensible and incompatible with the respect due the human person and cannot be justified or accepted."
The proposal calls for the Special Committee of the UN "to meet again at a date to be determined in 2005 in order to urgently prepare the working text for an international convention against human cloning" that would prohibit "all research, experimentation, development or application in its territories or in areas under its jurisdiction or control, of any technique designed for human cloning."
It also calls for states to "adopt the necessary measures to prohibit genetic engineering techniques that could have adverse consequences for respect for human dignity" and to "redirect funds that could be used for human cloning technology to the fight against the urgent problems that are affecting the developing countries throughout the world, such as hunger, desertification, infant mortality and disease."