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The Global Summit


The Global Summit, held once in every two years, is the most important international meeting of National Ethics and Bioethics Committees and a key platform for dialogue and exchange on bioethical questions as well as issues in the life sciences. It brings together national ethics/bioethics committees, commissions, advisory bodies, and international organizations from around the world.

Its mission and objectives are to provide a platform for knowledge sharing, to serve as a forum for exchange of views and debate and to contribute to common understanding and consensus building on bioethical issues of common global interest.

The Permanent Secretariat of the Global Summit is provided by the Global Health Ethics Unit at WHO. It maintains a close cooperation with National Ethics Councils around the world and supports in collaboration with UNESCO the preparation of the Global Summit. Moreover, a Steering Committee composed of representatives of National Ethics Councils and international experts assists with the organization of the Global Summit and provides thematic input.

History of the Summit

The first Global Summit took place in 1996 in San Francisco in conjunction with the Third World Congress of Bioethics. It was jointly organized by the US National Bioethics Advisory Commission and the French National Consultative Committee on Ethics.

Since then, subsequent meetings were held in a biennial turn in the following venues:

  • Berlin: 16-18 March 2016
  • Mexico City: 22-24 June 2014
  • Carthage: 26-28 September 2012
  • Singapore: 26-27 July 2010
  • Paris: 1-2 September 2008
  • Beijing: 4-5 August 2006
  • Canberra: 7-8 November 2004
  • Brasilia: 3-4 November 2002
  • London: 20-21 September 2000
  • Tokyo: 3-4 November 1998
  • San Francisco: November 1996

For further information on past Global Summits visit: