HL Deb 05 May 1999 vol 600 c95WA
Lord Alton of Liverpool

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What response they are making to President Chirac's criticism of those countries that have not signed the Council of Europe protocol banning human cloning which thereby may continue to provide a safe haven for scientists seeking to evade international prohibitions on human cloning. [HL2160]

Baroness Hayman

The Government fully recognise the importance of international action to secure the prohibition of human reproductive cloning. Currently,24 out of the 40 Council of Europe Members have signed the Cloning Protocol to the Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine. The United Kingdom was fully involved in the development of the protocol and fully supports the principle it enshrines.

However, a member state of the Council of Europe can only sign a protocol if it has previously signed the relevant convention. The United Kingdom has not at this time signed the Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine. This is because the Government have been consulting on provisions in the convention, although these are entirely unrelated to cloning.

In addition, the Government have fully supported the Universal Declaration of the Human Genome and Human Rights which prohibits the reproductive cloning of human beings and which was agreed unanimously by the member states of Unesco in November 1997.