Presentation on theme: "Head of Bioethics Division"— Presentation transcript:
1 Head of Bioethics Division Experience of theCouncil of EuropeLaurence LwoffHead of Bioethics DivisionGlobal Challenges, Global OpportunitiesInstitutions of international policy and governanceThe Tarrytown MeetingJuly 25-27, 2011
2 Council of Europe Intergovernmental organisations, 1949 47 member statesObjectives:Protection of human rights, democracy and rule of lawBioethics activities since late 70’sObjective: protection of fundamental rights in the field of biomedicine1997: Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine(Oviedo Convention)
3 Oviedo Convention First international legally binding instrument Framework convention: provisions apply to daily medical practice and specific fieldsReference value at national as well at international levelsRe-examination in 2005: no need for changesDifficulties encountered:Legal standards and evolving fieldCultural differences: autonomy vs. social normsSensitive issues:research on persons not able to consent, embryoBut agreement on the need for legally binding instrumentComplemented by additional protocols: Prohibition of cloningof human beings - Transplantation - Biomedical research –Genetic Testing for Health Purposes
4 A regional instrument but… Oviedo ConventionEuropean agreementAddressed issues faced by countries outside EuropeTakes into account international dimensionBased on values recognised and shared outside 47 member statesCooperation mechanism within Council of Europe : privileged frameworkPossible basis for initiative at global level?
5 Cooperation: essential Cooperation outside EuropeIntegral part of working methodAustralia, Canada, Israel, Japan, Mexico, USAActive participation in CoE activitiesThe example of biobankInternational dimensionCommon concernsCooperation with civil societyIntegral part of CoE working methodPromotion of civil society participation in decision at national and international levelConference of NGO’sParticular emphasis in the field of bioethicsIssues addressed concern all citizensHearing, public consultationPromotion of public debate, in particular young people
6 Council of Europe and bioethics Human rights perspectiveReference work not intended to be restrictedto European countriesImportance of cooperation with:non member states – other intergovernmental organisationscivil society partnershipTo address challenges faced by our societies