Presentation and PowerPoint - Laurence Lwoff

Presentation and PowerPoint - Laurence Lwoff


Institutions of International Policy and Governance: Experience of the Council of Europe

Laurence Lwoff Ph.D., Head of Bioethics Division, Council of Europe --

The Council of Europe (CoE) is an intergovernmental organisation set up in 1949 with 47 European member states. The CoE has been active in the field of bioethics since the late '70s. Activities in this field relate directly to the protection of fundamental rights – one of the main aims of the organisation.

After the adoption of several recommendations and guidelines on different issues concerning the biomedical field, an important step was reached in 1997 with the opening for signature of the Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine. This first legally binding instrument in this field has since then acquired reference value at international level. Even though representing a European agreement, the principles laid down in the Convention are based on values that are recognised at international level.

Cooperation with non member states is integral part of the CoE working method. Non European countries such as Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan and the United States of America have been participating as observers in the elaboration of the Convention and continue to participate in CoE bioethics activities.

Furthermore, non governmental organisations representing the different fields concerned are also regularly consulted in the elaboration process of legal instruments. This participation of civil society is particularly important in the field of bioethics, where the issues addressed concern all citizens.


For Dr. Lwoff's complete presentation, please see her detailed presentation report in the Notes section on the Global Challenges and Opportunities plenary session page.