Eidgenössische Ethikkommission für die Biotechnologie im Ausserhumanbereich EKAH

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Ethical aspects of Access and Benefit-Sharing

This report is dedicated to an ethical evaluation of the access and benefit-sharing mechanism (ABS). The purpose of this mechanism is to help realize the third core objective of the Convention on biological diversity (CBD): the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources. The report purports to show that the moral foundation of ABS is much weaker than commonly thought. Its main thesis is that if the concept of a common heritage of mankind (CHM) is rejected ABS cannot be ethically justified independent from the CBD and the Nagoya Protocol (NP) as legal agreements. Once the Parties to the Convention have voluntarily agreed to the CBD and the NP they have also agreed to the ABS mechanism. Because agreements must be kept - "pacta sunt servanda" - there is a moral (and not just legal) obligation to comply with the rules set out by the CBD and the NP regarding ABS. Otherwise, i.e. if there had been no agreement this moral obligation would not exist. Hence, there would be no duty to share the benefits accruing from the utilization of genetic resources.

Zuletzt aktualisiert am: 16.09.2014

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