Holy See Urges U.N. to Ban All Human Cloning

General Assembly to Resume Debate

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NEW YORK, SEPT. 30, 2004 (Zenit.org).- The Holy See appealed to the U.N. General Assembly to adopt a convention that will prohibit all types of human cloning.



Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo, Vatican secretary for relations with states, echoed this appeal of John Paul II when addressing the 59th session of the U.N. General Assembly on Wednesday. The assembly plans to resume the debate on human cloning within weeks.

There is agreement by nations on the prohibition of human cloning for reproductive ends. However, some countries have proposed that the convention not condemn the cloning of human embryos that are destined for experimentation and destruction.

The Catholic Church, supported by a number of countries, has opposed this concession because it involves putting an end to human lives.

To back his proposal, Archbishop Lajolo said that "the right to life of every individual" is explicitly mentioned in the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The papal representative reaffirmed the Holy See's commitment "to support the advancement of medical science, conducted always in a manner that respects human dignity, because it offers healing and cure for various diseases."

The Vatican reiterated "its support for the procurement and use of adult stem cells," which can be used for therapeutic ends without putting an end to human lives.

Archbishop Lajolo concluded that the Holy See "believes that the way forward is to draw up and implement a clear convention that will result in a comprehensive ban on human cloning."