02/26/2005, 00.00
VATICAN – UNITED NATIONS
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Cloning research contrary to human dignity

New York (AsiaNews/Agencies) – The Vatican has welcomed a vote in which the United Nations condemned all forms of human cloning.

Archbishop Celestino Migliore, the Holy See's permanent observer at the UN, said: "We are satisfied and offer our entire support to the UN to ban human cloning using embryonic tissues".

In his view, "cloning research is contrary to human dignity and the protection of life".

The final vote was decisive, with 71 nations supporting the ban and 35 opposing it. China and the United Kingdom were among the countries that voted against.

Immediately after the UN vote, the Chinese and British governments announced that they would not be bound by the resolution, and planned to continue sponsoring research using cloned human embryos.

For Archbishop Migliore, governments should instead not accept 'therapeutic cloning'. He insisted that the Church "cannot tolerate the exploitation and destruction of human embryos". World leaders should find ways to continue scientific research that do not violate human dignity.

The Holy See's representative had called for a worldwide ban on human cloning in a presentation to the UN on October 21, 2004.

A year earlier, the Vatican delegation had argued forcefully for a ban on human cloning that would cover not only 'reproductive' cloning (in which embryos are cloned in order to be brought to birth) but also 'therapeutic' cloning (in which cloned embryos are harvested for their tissues and then destroyed).

The February 18 resolution covers both forms of cloning.

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