SQU hosts regional summit of National Ethics Committees

Hosted by the Sultan Qaboos University, the event’s outcome would be discussed during the next Global Summit to be held in Senegal in 2018.  

MUSCAT: The East Mediterranean/Arab States Regional Summit of National Ethics/Bioethics Committees attracted members of regional and national ethics/bioethics committees as well as professional and policy makers working in the field. The idea was to foster co-operation between such committees, link them with policy makers, raise awareness and give the participants an opportunity to share experiences about bioethical issues in the region.
Hosted by the Sultan Qaboos University (SQU), the event’s outcome would be discussed during the next Global Summit to be held in Senegal in 2018.
Dr Ali bin Saud al Bimani, Vice Chancellor of Sultan Qaboos University and the Chairman of the National Bioethics Committee of Oman, welcomed the delegates from Unesco, WHO and different countries.
He thanked Unesco and WHO for choosing Oman for the first Regional Summit for Eastern Mediterranean Arab States Region. Al Bimani hoped that the Summit and the deliberations would help review the situation of bioethics in member states and identify areas of progress for bioethics for each country.
Dr Seiko Sugita from the Unesco thanked the Omani National Committee of Bioethics for hosting the two-day regional summit in coordination with SQU.
“For more than 20 years, Unesco has been playing a leading role at the UN level and globally in the field of bioethics and ethics of science and technology. Hope the Summit would explore and discuss methods of regional collaboration, with special focus on development and work of national ethics / bioethics committees. It would help raise public awareness and education on bioethics in Member States, in line with findings and recommendations related to the activities held by WHO and Unesco in the region”, she said.
The regional summit discussed the results of the bioethics survey conducted by WHO/EMRO in 2015; and the legal survey conducted by the Unesco Cairo Office in 2009 concerning issues related to medical and genetic research in the Arab States; and other related topics.
The survey highlights some key challenges that face countries of the region regarding bioethics such as low level of bioethics education, illiteracy among patients, lack of resources in the field of bioethics, etc.
Oman had hosted the first international bioethics conference in March 2015. Moreover, Oman is one of the countries on the Intergovernmental Bioethics Committee of the Unesco.