In a last-ditch effort to revive talks on a comprehensive human cloning ban, a group of US-led countries may try to force a vote on the issue in a meeting of the United Nations General Assembly on Monday (December 8).

Two years of contentious wrangling on the subject led to a stalemate in early November, and the UN's Legal Committee voted 80 to 79 on November 6 to delay discussions for 2 more years. An initial proposal, supported by more than 20 nations including Belgium, France, Germany, and Japan, would have banned human cloning for the purposes of reproduction. A second proposal supported by the United States, Costa Rica, and 64 other nations—mostly developing and strongly Catholic countries—would have led to a ban on both reproductive and “therapeutic” cloning for research purposes. The impasse led the Legal Committee to opt for a last-minute motion by the Organization of the Islamic...

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