IV World Conference on Bioethics


(Gijón, España, 2005)



  • That human dignity is an attribute unique to all human beings and its recognition is a fundamental right and the foundation of all human rights and fundamental freedoms of each and every individual and of humanity as a whole which must be respected and protected
  • That violence of any kind -be it physical, psychological, emotional, moral, technical, environmental, social, economic or any other, is unacceptable behaviour which is anti-social and contrary to human dignity.
  • That war, terrorism, violence and the abuse of power, and the misuse of science and technology are detrimental to Humankind and that such acts are increasing in number and intensity and are often carried out without any punishment.
  • That the use of biological and chemical weapons is particularly cruel and affects indiscriminately civil populations and is forbidden in many international and regional documents such as:
    • The Geneva Protocol dated 17th June 1925
    • The Convention on the banning on development, production and storage of bacteriological (biological) weapons and toxins and about their destruction, which was opened for signature in 1972 and which entered into force in 1975, Annex to the resolution of the General Assembly of United Nations No. 2826 (XXVI).
    • The Universal Declaration on the Human Genome and Human Rights of 11 November 1997
    • The Declaration "Universal Commitment to the Dignity of the Human Being" II World Conference on Bioethics, Gijón, Spain, 2002
    • The Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights, 2005

RECALLING the appeal of the International Committee of the Red Cross on Biotechnology, Weapons and Humanity

AFFIRMING that individual and collective human dignity isdenied

  • If we remain indifferent to aggression by the strongest against the weakest countries.
  • If we continue to resort to the use of force, including terror, to resolve our differences, instead of building bridges of tolerance, understanding and constructive communication.


  • Every person has a moral obligation to promote Human Dignity and assume the defence of the dignity of the person and also the obligation to guard against and denounce any infringements of it.
  • That Bioethics recognizes a specific obligation to denounce violations of human dignity and to promote the banning of the use of biological knowledge, techniques and means to destroy and annihilate human beings and their natural surroundings.

WE EXPRESS our firm commitment with regard to

  • Progressing with determination towards a new world order that is based on justice, universal participation, mutual responsibility, co-operation, equity and solidarity so as to put an end to armed conflicts, wars and terrorism.
  • Adopting and encouraging individual, social and political measures and attitudes in order to defeat intolerance and violence in all their forms and to impose the effective respect of human dignity
  • Advocating destruction of all existing biological weapon, and rejecting military strategies which summon biomedical professionals to cooperate in the procurement, use and encouragement of biological arsenals, as well as to publicly condemn non-compliance with international agreements.
  • Requesting participation of Bioethics advocates in the commissions that have a say in the drafting and control over such agreements.
  • Condemning participation of experts, technicians and scientists in the development of biological weapons.
  • Condemning participation of public health institutions in schemes that aim to develop programmes that may lead to the procurement of biological weapons which, under the excuse of their being defensive strategies, might be applied in reprisal against others.
  • Constructing coherent theoretical grounds against the arguments that provide support to religious wars, torture, and pro-war ethics.
  • Demanding from all Governments that they promptly implement the measures and actions that are required to make the present Declaration effective.
  • Widely publicising this Commitment through all the media of communication and demanding that it be urgently put into practice.

Adopted by assent of the Plenary Assembly
of the IV World Conference on Bioethics
Gijón (SPAIN), 25th November 2005