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Assisting Bioethics Committees (ABC): Plan of action
Preparatory phase

Technical support (as well as technical exploratory missions) will be organized in order to assist the Member States in undertaking the first explorations of how to establish a National Bioethics Committee. With the support of the National Commission for UNESCO all interested parties, bodies and organizations are invited in a preparatory meeting to discuss the needs of the country, the modalities of a committee and the practical steps to be taken. A proposal for a plan of action will be discussed; it will be effectuated in a Memorandum of Understanding as soon as the committee has been officially established.

Establishment of the Committee

When the decision has been made to officially establish a National Bioethics Committee, the inauguration of this committee will be organized. The inauguration can take the form of a rotating conference, presenting a public event and involving many stakeholders and citizens. This event will also be the occasion to formally sign the Memorandum of Understanding with UNESCO as the beginning of the 3 year period of technical support.

First year

As specified in the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) agreed between UNESCO and the National Bioethics Committee various activities of technical support can be organized, depending on the needs and wishes of the partners.
  • Training in working methods [PDF]
  • Building up relevant documentation [PDF]
  • Training of the Committee’s secretariat [PDF]
  • Networking [PDF]

  • Second year

    According to specified needs, assistance can be intensified:
  • Training in ethics (research ethics, ethics and policy advice etc).
  • Workshop for policy-makers, health law experts and judges.
  • Creating partnerships with experienced National Bioethics Committees. A long-term partnership between the newly established committee and one of the more experienced committees in other Member States will be created.
  • Public event to disseminate the work of the committee. This event can take the form of a rotating conference and can be used as an opportunity to disseminate information about UNESCO’s ethics programme.

  • Third year

    During this last year, the committee will be made sustainable:
  • Specialized training in ethics (ethics education, legal provisions etc)
  • Networking. A network will be created of newly established national bioethics committees.

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