United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

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The United Nations Educational, Social and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations working to promote international collaboration through education, science, and culture.

In 1993 UNESCO established a Bioethics Programme within its Division of the Ethics of Science and Technology. The Programme is led by the International Bioethics Committee (IBC), consisting of 36 outside experts, and the Intergovernmental Bioethics Committee (IGBC), consisting of representatives from 36 member states.

UNESCO has adopted a number of non-binding declarations addressing bioethics issues. In 2007 it took the lead in negotiating the International Convention Against Doping in Sports, now open for ratification. The Convention includes language banning the use of genetic technology to enhance athletic performance in official athletic events (“Gene-Doping”).


The UNESCO Declarations

The Bioethics Programme has sponsored three major nonbinding international agreements:

  1. The Universal Declaration on the Human Genome and Human Rights was adopted unanimously by the UNESCO General Conference in 1997 and ratified by the UN General Assembly in 1998. The Declaration calls for member states to undertake specific actions, such as the prohibition of "practices which are contrary to human dignity, such as reproductive cloning of human beings." It also calls on the IBC to study "practices that could be contrary to human dignity, such as germline interventions."
  2. The International Declaration on Human Genetic Data was adopted in 2003. The declaration is intended “to ensure the respect of human dignity and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the collection, processing, use and storage of human genetic and proteomic data, and of the biological samples from which they are derived, in keeping with the requirements of equality, justice and solidarity, while giving due consideration to freedom of thought and expression, including freedom of research.”
  3. The Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights was adopted in 2005. Using a human rights framework, the Declaration established normative principles in fifteen areas, including human dignity and human rights; equality, justice and equity; and protecting future generations. These principles cover a wider range of issues than the previous two bioethics Declarations.

The International Convention Against Doping in Sports

In 1999 the World Olympic Committee established the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to address the unauthorized use of steroids, drugs and other biological materials by athletes. In 2003 WADA issued the first World Anti-Doping Code, including a list of banned substances. In 2006 WADA added a provision prohibiting gene-doping.

In 2005 WADA and UNESCO prepared the International Convention Against Doping in Sports, which incorporates the World Anti-Doping Code. Upon ratification by national governments the provisions of the Convention are binding.

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The Table shows the status of the 2005 International Convention Against Doping in Sports for each member state.

You can click the icon in any column heading to sort by that column. To sort the other direction, click it again.


  • RATIFIED: This country has ratified this measure, and thus agrees to abide by its provisions.
  • signed: This country has signed this measure, indicating an intent to ratify it.
  • blank cell: This country has neither signed nor ratified this measure.

You can click the icon in any column heading to sort by that column. To sort the other direction, click it again.

Country Region Population 2005 UNESCO Sports Doping Convention
Afghanistan Asia 3188990031,889,900
Albania Europe 36005203,600,520 RATIFIED
Algeria Africa 3333320033,333,200 RATIFIED
Andorra Europe 7182271,822
Angola Africa 1594100015,941,000
Antigua and Barbuda Latin America 8278682,786
Argentina Latin America 4030192740,301,927 RATIFIED
Armenia Asia 32299003,229,900
Australia Oceania 2126000021,260,000 RATIFIED
Austria Europe 83164908,316,490 RATIFIED
Azerbaijan Asia 86530008,653,000 RATIFIED
Bahamas Latin America 330549330,549 RATIFIED
Bahrain Asia 10468101,046,810
Bangladesh Asia 150448000150,448,000 RATIFIED
Barbados Latin America 279000279,000 RATIFIED
Belarus Europe 96898009,689,800
Belgium Europe 1058450010,584,500 RATIFIED
Belize Latin America 314275314,275
Benin Africa 84390008,439,000
Bhutan Asia 672425672,425
Bolivia Latin America 91191509,119,150 RATIFIED
Bosnia and Herzegovina Europe 39812403,981,240
Botswana Africa 16398301,639,830
Brazil Latin America 186758000186,758,000 RATIFIED
Brunei Asia 391450391,450 RATIFIED
Bulgaria Europe 79330007,933,000 RATIFIED
Burkina Faso Africa 1322800013,228,000
Burundi Africa 75480007,548,000 RATIFIED
Cambodia Asia 1397100013,971,000 RATIFIED
Cameroon Africa 1779500017,795,000 RATIFIED
Canada Northern America 3325500033,255,000 RATIFIED
Cape Verde Africa 499796499,796 RATIFIED
Central African Republic Africa 42166704,216,670
Chad Africa 1078060010,780,600
Chile Latin America 1659810016,598,100
China Asia 13218518881.321852e+9 RATIFIED
Colombia Latin America 4408700044,087,000
Comoros Africa 798000798,000
Cook Islands Oceania 1870018,700 RATIFIED
Costa Rica Latin America 41338844,133,884
Croatia Europe 44535004,453,500 RATIFIED
Cuba Latin America 1139400011,394,000 RATIFIED
Cyprus Asia 788457788,457
Czech Republic Europe 1038110010,381,100 RATIFIED
Côte d'Ivoire Africa 1801340018,013,400 RATIFIED
Democratic Republic of the Congo Africa 6.26E+762,600,000
Denmark Europe 54757905,475,790 RATIFIED
Djibouti Africa 496374496,374
Dominica Latin America 7172771,727
Dominican Republic Latin America 97600009,760,000
Ecuador Latin America 1375570013,755,700 RATIFIED
Egypt Africa 8033500080,335,000 RATIFIED
El Salvador Latin America 6.6E+66,600,000
Equatorial Guinea Africa 504000504,000
Eritrea Africa 44010104,401,010
Estonia Europe 13406001,340,600 RATIFIED
Ethiopia Africa 7506700075,067,000
Fiji Oceania 853445853,445
Finland Europe 53082105,308,210 RATIFIED
France Europe 6447310064,473,100 RATIFIED
Gabon Africa 14548701,454,870 RATIFIED
Gambia Africa 1.7E+61,700,000
Georgia Asia 46614704,661,470
Germany Europe 8221000082,210,000 RATIFIED
Ghana Africa 2.3E+723,000,000 RATIFIED
Greece Europe 1121670011,216,700 RATIFIED
Grenada Latin America 110000110,000
Guatemala Latin America 1.3E+713,000,000 RATIFIED
Guinea Africa 94020009,402,000
Guinea-Bissau Africa 15860001,586,000
Guyana Latin America 751000751,000
Haiti Latin America 87065008,706,500
Honduras Latin America 74837607,483,760
Hungary Europe 1005300010,053,000 RATIFIED
Iceland Europe 316252316,252 RATIFIED
India Asia 11324460001.132446e+9 RATIFIED
Indonesia Asia 234694000234,694,000 RATIFIED
Iran Asia 7120800071,208,000
Iraq Asia 2926700029,267,000
Ireland Europe 60000006,000,000 RATIFIED
Israel Asia 72820007,282,000
Italy Europe 5944820059,448,200 RATIFIED
Jamaica Latin America 26510002,651,000 RATIFIED
Japan Asia 127433494127,433,494 RATIFIED
Jordan Asia 60531906,053,190
Kazakhstan Asia 1521770015,217,700
Kenya Africa 3470780034,707,800
Kuwait Asia 23905402,390,540 RATIFIED
Kyrgyzstan Asia 52640005,264,000
Laos Asia 65220006,522,000
Latvia Europe 22707002,270,700 RATIFIED
Lebanon Asia 41964504,196,450
Lesotho Africa 17950001,795,000
Liberia Africa 33860003,386,000
Libya Africa 61735806,173,580 RATIFIED
Liechtenstein Europe 3536535,365
Lithuania Europe 33696003,369,600 RATIFIED
Luxembourg Europe 480222480,222 RATIFIED
Macedonia Europe 20385102,038,510
Madagascar Africa 1944880019,448,800
Malawi Africa 1288400012,884,000
Malaysia Asia 2749600027,496,000 RATIFIED
Maldives Asia 300000300,000
Mali Africa 1199540011,995,400 RATIFIED
Malta Europe 402000402,000
Marshall Islands Oceania 6196361,963
Mauritania Africa 30690003,069,000
Mauritius Africa 12567401,256,740 RATIFIED
Mexico Latin America 108700891108,700,891 RATIFIED
Micronesia Oceania 107862107,862
Moldova Europe 41280504,128,050 RATIFIED
Monaco Europe 3267132,671 RATIFIED
Mongolia Asia 29517902,951,790 RATIFIED
Montenegro Europe 684736684,736
Morocco Africa 3375720033,757,200
Mozambique Africa 2139700021,397,000 RATIFIED
Myanmar Asia 5539000055,390,000
Namibia Africa 18209201,820,920 RATIFIED
Nauru Oceania 92759,275 RATIFIED
Nepal Asia 2890180028,901,800
Netherlands Europe 1640860016,408,600 RATIFIED
New Zealand Oceania 42520004,252,000 RATIFIED
Nicaragua Latin America 56030005,603,000
Niger Africa 1395700013,957,000 RATIFIED
Nigeria Africa 1.48E+8148,000,000 RATIFIED
North Korea Asia 2330170023,301,700
Norway Europe 47527404,752,740 RATIFIED
Oman Asia 32049003,204,900 RATIFIED
Pakistan Asia 1.693E+8169,300,000 RATIFIED
Palau Oceania 2084220,842
Panama Latin America 33200003,320,000 RATIFIED
Papua New Guinea Oceania 6.3E+66,300,000
Paraguay Latin America 61580006,158,000
Peru Latin America 2867480028,674,800 RATIFIED
Philippines Asia 9.05E+790,500,000
Poland Europe 3851820038,518,200 RATIFIED
Portugal Europe 1084870010,848,700 RATIFIED
Qatar Asia 907229907,229 RATIFIED
Republic of the Congo Africa 39990003,999,000
Romania Europe 2224690022,246,900 RATIFIED
Russia Europe 142008838142,008,838 RATIFIED
Rwanda Africa 1018610010,186,100
Saint Kitts and Nevis Latin America 4269642,696 RATIFIED
Saint Lucia Latin America 160765160,765 RATIFIED
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Latin America 110000110,000
Samoa Oceania 214265214,265 RATIFIED
San Marino Europe 2961529,615
Sao Tome and Principe Africa 157000157,000
Saudi Arabia Asia 2760100027,601,000 RATIFIED
Senegal Africa 1165800011,658,000 RATIFIED
Serbia Europe 1015030010,150,300
Seychelles Africa 8069980,699 RATIFIED
Sierra Leone Africa 5.9E+65,900,000
Singapore Asia 46806004,680,600 RATIFIED
Slovakia Europe 54475025,447,502 RATIFIED
Slovenia Europe 20233602,023,360
Solomon Islands Oceania 552438552,438
Somalia Africa 95586709,558,670
South Africa Africa 4370000043,700,000 RATIFIED
South Korea Asia 4904479049,044,790 RATIFIED
Spain Europe 4520070045,200,700 RATIFIED
Sri Lanka Asia 1966800019,668,000
Sudan Africa 3937940039,379,400
Suriname Latin America 470784470,784
Swaziland Africa 10320001,032,000
Sweden Europe 91829309,182,930 RATIFIED
Switzerland Europe 75914007,591,400
Syrian Arab Republic Asia 1940500019,405,000
Taiwan Asia 2291100022,911,000
Tajikistan Asia 69203006,920,300
Tanzania Africa 3784910037,849,100
Thailand Asia 6303820063,038,200 RATIFIED
Timor-Leste Asia 11150001,115,000
Togo Africa 5.7E+65,700,000
Tonga Oceania 112000112,000
Trinidad and Tobago Latin America 13050001,305,000 RATIFIED
Tunisia Africa 1010200010,102,000 RATIFIED
Turkey Asia 7058625670,586,256
Turkmenistan Asia 51100205,110,020
Tuvalu Oceania 1199211,992
Uganda Africa 3.09E+730,900,000
Ukraine Europe 4637270046,372,700 RATIFIED
United Arab Emirates Asia 4637270046,372,700
United Kingdom Europe 6058730060,587,300 RATIFIED
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland Europe 6058730060,587,300 RATIFIED
United States
United States of America Northern America 304072000304,072,000 RATIFIED
Uruguay Latin America 34606103,460,610 RATIFIED
Uzbekistan Asia 2659300026,593,000
Vanuatu Oceania 209000209,000
Venezuela Latin America 2819980028,199,800
Vietnam Asia 8737500087,375,000
Yemen Africa 2301340023,013,400
Zambia Africa 1166800011,668,000
Zimbabwe Africa 1301000013,010,000
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