Clonaid has announced that the first cloned human baby (“Eve”) travels home to the U.S. on December 30, 2002. Whether or not tests confirm that this little girl is a human clone, other clones will soon be born. Cloning technology has arrived. And cloning is an issue that must not be ignored.
The new genetic sciences have the potential to catalyze unprecedented medical breakthroughs, but also to unleash irreversible damage. The homeward flight of little Eve is a poignant statement that any one nation’s efforts to regulate cloning will prove ineffective. This new era calls us to new levels of international cooperation. Whatever genetic advances occur in one country will affect us all.
I believe the 21st century will hold increasing numbers of issues where the actions of one nation affect the world. The issue might be global warming or smallpox, but our challenge is the same: to participate in a meaningful, constructive dialogue about the political, economic, scientific, moral, and ethical implications of our emerging sciences and to act in concert as an international community.
Our wisdom must advance as quickly as our science, and we must be willing to change courses quickly as we learn from our mistakes.
To me, the United Nations seems our best forum for this, and I hope we will do what it takes to strengthen this international dialogue so that different perspectives will be listened to with great respect, and we will act as a community.