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.

  Region Population 2005 UNESCO Sports Doping Convention
Afghanistan Asia 31,889,923
Albania Europe 3,600,523 RATIFIED
Algeria Africa 38,481,705 RATIFIED
Andorra Europe 71,822
Angola Africa 15,941,000
Antigua and Barbuda Latin America 82,786
Argentina Latin America 40,301,927 RATIFIED
Armenia Asia 3,229,900
Australia Oceania 21,260,000 RATIFIED
Austria Europe 8,316,487 RATIFIED
Azerbaijan Asia 8,653,000 RATIFIED
Bahamas Latin America 330,549 RATIFIED
Bahrain Asia 1,046,814
Bangladesh Asia 150,448,340 RATIFIED
Barbados Latin America 279,000 RATIFIED
Belarus Europe 9,689,800
Belgium Europe 10,584,534 RATIFIED
Belize Latin America 314,275
Benin Africa 8,439,000
Bhutan Asia 672,425
Bolivia Latin America 9,119,152 RATIFIED
Bosnia and Herzegovina Europe 3,981,239
Botswana Africa 1,639,833
Brazil Latin America 186,757,608 RATIFIED
Brunei Asia 391,450 RATIFIED
Bulgaria Europe 7,933,000 RATIFIED
Burkina Faso Africa 13,228,000
Burundi Africa 7,548,000 RATIFIED
Cambodia Asia 13,971,000 RATIFIED
Cameroon Africa 17,795,000 RATIFIED
Canada Northern America 33,255,000 RATIFIED
Cape Verde Africa 499,796 RATIFIED
Central African Republic Africa 4,216,666
Chad Africa 10,780,600
Chile Latin America 16,598,074
China Asia 1,321,851,888 RATIFIED
Colombia Latin America 44,087,000
Comoros Africa 798,000
Cook Islands Oceania 18,700 RATIFIED
Costa Rica Latin America 4,133,884
Croatia Europe 4,453,500 RATIFIED
Cuba Latin America 11,394,043 RATIFIED
Cyprus Asia 788,457
Czech Republic Europe 10,381,130 RATIFIED
Côte d'Ivoire Africa 18,013,409 RATIFIED
Democratic Republic of the Congo Africa 62,600,000
Denmark Europe 5,475,791 RATIFIED
Djibouti Africa 496,374
Dominica Latin America 71,727
Dominican Republic Latin America 9,760,000
Ecuador Latin America 13,755,680 RATIFIED
Egypt Africa 80,335,036 RATIFIED
El Salvador Latin America 6,600,000
Equatorial Guinea Africa 504,000
Eritrea Africa 4,401,009
Estonia Europe 1,340,602 RATIFIED
Ethiopia Africa 75,067,000
Fiji Oceania 853,445
Finland Europe 5,308,208 RATIFIED
France Europe 64,473,140 RATIFIED
Gabon Africa 1,454,867 RATIFIED
Gambia Africa 1,700,000
Georgia Asia 4,661,473
Germany Europe 82,210,000 RATIFIED
Ghana Africa 23,000,000 RATIFIED
Greece Europe 11,216,708 RATIFIED
Grenada Latin America 110,000
Guatemala Latin America 13,000,000 RATIFIED
Guinea Africa 9,402,000
Guinea-Bissau Africa 1,586,000
Guyana Latin America 751,000
Haiti Latin America 8,706,497
Honduras Latin America 7,483,763
Hong Kong Asia 7,234,800
Hungary Europe 10,053,000 RATIFIED
Iceland Europe 316,252 RATIFIED
India Asia 1,132,446,000 RATIFIED
Indonesia Asia 234,693,997 RATIFIED
Iran Asia 71,208,000
Iraq Asia 29,267,000
Ireland Europe 6,000,000 RATIFIED
Israel Asia 7,282,000
Italy Europe 59,448,163 RATIFIED
Jamaica Latin America 2,651,000 RATIFIED
Japan Asia 127,433,494 RATIFIED
Jordan Asia 6,053,193
Kazakhstan Asia 15,217,711
Kenya Africa 34,707,800
Kiribati Oceania 103,500
Kosovo Asia 1,859,203
Kuwait Asia 2,390,543 RATIFIED
Kyrgyzstan Asia 5,264,000
Laos Asia 6,521,998
Latvia Europe 2,270,700 RATIFIED
Lebanon Asia 4,196,453
Lesotho Africa 1,795,000
Liberia Africa 3,386,000
Libya Africa 6,173,579 RATIFIED
Liechtenstein Europe 35,365
Lithuania Europe 3,369,600 RATIFIED
Luxembourg Europe 480,222 RATIFIED
Macedonia Europe 2,038,514
Madagascar Africa 19,448,815
Malawi Africa 12,884,000
Malaysia Asia 27,496,000 RATIFIED
Maldives Asia 300,000
Mali Africa 11,995,402 RATIFIED
Malta Europe 402,000
Marshall Islands Oceania 61,963
Mauritania Africa 3,069,000
Mauritius Africa 1,256,739 RATIFIED
Mexico Latin America 108,700,891 RATIFIED
Micronesia Oceania 107,862
Moldova Europe 4,128,047 RATIFIED
Monaco Europe 32,671 RATIFIED
Mongolia Asia 2,951,786 RATIFIED
Montenegro Europe 684,736
Morocco Africa 33,757,175
Mozambique Africa 21,397,000 RATIFIED
Myanmar Asia 55,390,000
Namibia Africa 1,820,916 RATIFIED
Nauru Oceania 9,275 RATIFIED
Nepal Asia 28,901,790
Netherlands Europe 16,408,557 RATIFIED
New Zealand Oceania 4,252,000 RATIFIED
Nicaragua Latin America 5,603,000
Niger Africa 13,957,000 RATIFIED
Nigeria Africa 148,000,000 RATIFIED
North Korea Asia 23,301,725
Norway Europe 4,752,735 RATIFIED
Oman Asia 3,204,897 RATIFIED
Pakistan Asia 169,300,000 RATIFIED
Palau Oceania 20,842
Palestine Asia 4,550,368
Panama Latin America 3,320,000 RATIFIED
Papua New Guinea Oceania 6,300,000
Paraguay Latin America 6,158,000
Peru Latin America 28,674,757 RATIFIED
Philippines Asia 90,500,000
Poland Europe 38,518,241 RATIFIED
Portugal Europe 10,848,692 RATIFIED
Qatar Asia 907,229 RATIFIED
Republic of the Congo Africa 3,999,000
Romania Europe 22,246,862 RATIFIED
Russia Europe 142,008,838 RATIFIED
Rwanda Africa 10,186,063
Saint Kitts and Nevis Latin America 42,696 RATIFIED
Saint Lucia Latin America 160,765 RATIFIED
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Latin America 110,000
Samoa Oceania 214,265 RATIFIED
San Marino Europe 29,615
Saudi Arabia Asia 27,601,038 RATIFIED
Senegal Africa 11,658,000 RATIFIED
Serbia Europe 10,150,265
Seychelles Africa 80,699 RATIFIED
Sierra Leone Africa 5,900,000
Singapore Asia 4,680,600 RATIFIED
Slovakia Europe 5,447,502 RATIFIED
Slovenia Europe 2,023,358
Solomon Islands Oceania 552,438
Somalia Africa 9,558,666
South Africa Africa 43,700,000 RATIFIED
South Korea Asia 49,044,790 RATIFIED
South Sudan Africa 8,260,490
Spain Europe 45,200,737 RATIFIED
Sri Lanka Asia 19,668,000
Sudan Africa 39,379,358
Suriname Latin America 470,784
Swaziland Africa 1,032,000
Sweden Europe 9,182,927 RATIFIED
Switzerland Europe 7,591,400
Syria Asia 19,405,000
São Tomé and Príncipe Africa 157,000
Taiwan Asia 22,911,000
Tajikistan Asia 6,920,300
Tanzania Africa 37,849,133
Thailand Asia 63,038,247 RATIFIED
Timor-Leste Asia 1,115,000
Togo Africa 5,700,000
Tonga Oceania 112,000
Trinidad and Tobago Latin America 1,305,000 RATIFIED
Tunisia Africa 10,102,000 RATIFIED
Turkey Asia 70,586,256
Turkmenistan Asia 5,110,023
Tuvalu Oceania 11,992
Uganda Africa 30,900,000
Ukraine Europe 46,372,700 RATIFIED
United Arab Emirates Asia 46,372,700
United Kingdom Europe 60,587,300 RATIFIED
United States
Uruguay Latin America 3,460,607 RATIFIED
Uzbekistan Asia 26,593,000
Vanuatu Oceania 209,000
Venezuela Latin America 28,199,822
Vietnam Asia 87,375,000
Yemen Africa 23,013,376
Zambia Africa 11,668,000
Zimbabwe Africa 13,010,000