This report arose from a realisation of the need to clarify international intellectual property law in light of recent advances in genomics, most visibly the mapping of the human genome. It is the result of a working party convened by UNESCO in 2001.
The report hinges on the following key issues:
The report acknowledges the strengths and the weaknesses of current legislative frameworks surrounding bioethics and endorses the creation of an inter-agency committee on bioethics, and for closer links between governments, scientists, institutes and corporations engaged in genomic research. It also acknowledges the potential for genomics to widen the technology and the knowledge gap and calls for closer relationships between institutions like WHO and UNESCO.