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Vatican official fears nations will ignore UN on cloning

While applauding a UN vote that condemned human cloning, the president of the Pontifical Academy for Life has cautioned that the UN's decision may not be honoured.

Catholic World News reports that Bishop Elio Sgreccia (pictured) told Vatican Radio that while 84 countries joined in the UN resolution that was approved on Tuesday, there were 34 countries in opposition, and 37 abstentions.

Among the countries that are the world's leaders in embryonic-tissue research, the US and Italy joined in the condemnation of human cloning. Australia supports the measure, which is opposed by the UK, Belgium, China, and Singapore.

The UN resolution is not binding on individual nations. It called for member states to pass their own legislation to protect human life and to ban cloning. But Bishop Sgreccia observed that this "formal pronouncement" will likely be ignored by many countries.

It coincides with a review of the Australian law that is due to start within weeks.

The Italian bishop saluted the UN General Assembly for making a "positive decision," and said that the vote showed a clear choice by the majority of the world's nations to recognise cloning "as a menace to human beings, their dignity and their life."

As reported in CathNews yesterday, Marcia Riordan from the Respect Life Office of the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne told The Age that Australia's UN vote bolsters the case for a permanent ban on therapeutic cloning.

"As far as we're concerned, all cloning is cloning, whether its therapeutic or (otherwise). Life should never be a commodity," she said.

Vatican official fears nations will ignore UN on cloning (Catholic World News 10/3/05)

LINKS (not endorsed by Church Resources)
Ad Hoc Committee on an International Convention against the Reproductive Cloning of Human Beings
Respect Life Office, Archdiocese of Melbourne

Church welcomes UN cloning ban (CathNews 10/3/05)
UN adopts pro-life declaration against human cloning (CathNews 22/2/05)
Australia backs "Catholic" UN push on cloning (CathNews 22/11/04)

Bishops' spokesperson hails UN declaration against human cloning (Catholic News Agency 10/3/05)
U.N. Should Have Done More to Ban Cloning, Says Bishop (Zenit 9/3/05)

11 Mar 2005