Research and technology development is a complex global enterprise, which involves increasing amounts of international collaboration. Many questions must be resolved correctly to assure the ethical conduct of research. UNESCO as the United Nations agency that focuses on broad issues of both science and ethics is uniquely placed to play a key role in promoting the ethical conduct of research. This blog posting recommends that UNESCO play an important role:
- as a forum for the discussion of ethical issues involved in the conduct of scientific research and technology development;
- as a clearinghouse for information on best practices in assuring the ethical conduct of research;
- as an agent helping developing countries develop the capacity to assure the ethical conduct of research conducted within their borders;
- as the central UN science agency, in convening a working group of WHO, UNFPA, UNAIDS, FAO, UNIDO and other UN agencies to discuss research ethics; and
- as a legitimate neutral party to help in parties come to agreement on ethical standards for multinational research projects.