The potential for human cloning seems to hold various intriguing possibilities to some parties, while many others remain wholly appalled by the very idea of this process. Despite this substantial difference of opinion, the United Nations General Assembly passed a nonbinding statement on cloning this past Tuesday that urges governments to ban all human cloning, including the cloning of human embryos for stem-cell research. While the United States did not play a substantive role in advocating for such a statement, the vote was seen by some as a victor for the administration of President George W. Bush. The actual measure was proposed by Honduras, and was largely supported by Roman Catholic countries, though there were some unusual schisms in the final vote on the statement. One example was the case of the United States and Britain, with Britain voting against the statement. While some in the United Nations bemoaned the final vote on this statement, some, such as Costa Rican Ambassador Bruno Stagno Ugarte were more enthusiastic, as he noted: "ï¿½.therapeutic cloning involves the creation of human life for the purpose of destroying it."
The first link will take visitors to a news article from CNN.com that discusses the results of the recent United Nations vote. The second link will take visitors to additional audio coverage of the vote as offered by Peter Heinlein, reporting for Voice of America. The third link leads to the official press release from the United Nations on the vote in the General Assembly this past Tuesday. The fourth link leads to the very timely homepage of the Ad Hoc Committee on an International Convention against the Reproductive Cloning of Human Beings, which presents material from the various committees from the year 2001 to the present. The fifth link leads to a succinct and eminently readable factsheet on cloning, provided by the Human Genome Project. The sixth and final link leads to a very thorough online book from the National Academies press on the various aspects of human reproductive cloning.