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Sunday, August 15, 2010

UNESCO Bioethics Chair Installed

The official installation of UNESCO's first francophone Africa chair of bioethics took place at the University of Bouaké in the Côte d'Ivoire capital of Abidjan. For English-speaking African countries, the bioethics chair is based at Egerton University in Kenya.

Fraternité Matin of Abidjan said the chair, aimed at promoting studies on humankind, would be "based on the triad of research, degree-level education and popularisation, and develop and disseminate scientific production and the ethical guidelines promoted by Unesco".

The general aim of the chair, according to Unesco, is to take up the ethical challenges of the millennium and, specifically, to:

* Adapt expertise and behaviour to new ethical demands raised by technological and scientific development and the growing assertion of human rights.

* Develop and promote skills in etchical and bioethical matters to guarantee the quality of public debate on conteporary ethical problems.

* Formalise scientific exchanges between experts (teachers and researchers) of West Africa and those from the North and South specialised in ethics and bioethics.

* Promote in Africa the principles and standards of bioethics.

* Spread information about Unesco's declarations concerning bioethics.

At the ceremony in July the university's president Lazare Poamé, a chief proponent of studies in bioethics in the mid-1990s, described the installation as "one of the greatest intellectual events in the history of this university". ~ University World News, Aug 8

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