WHO Collaborating Centres (CCs) for Bioethics are key institutions with relevant expertise distributed throughout the world. They represent a valuable resource as an extended and integral arm of WHO's capacity to implement its ethics mandate.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the planned 11th meeting of the Global Network of WHO CCs for Bioethics at Stellenbosch University in April could not be held. A virtual meeting was held on 8 May to share important insights gained through the COVID-related projects CCs have been involved in and discuss common ethical challenges faced around the world.
The meeting provided an opportunity to welcome two new CCs to the Network: ICMR Bioethics Unit of the National Centre for Disease Informatics and Research (NCDIR) of the Indian Council of Medical Research in Bangalore, India; and the Medical Ethics and History of Medicine Research Centre at Tehran University of Medical Sciences in Iran. The inclusion of these two centres will enrich the network's activities in embedding ethics in WHO's work, both in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and more broadly.
In addition, a new Chair of the Network was elected. We are delighted to announce that Professor Florencia Luna of the Programme of Bioethics at the Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales (FLACSO) in Buenos Aires has accepted this position, for a term of two years. We would like to recognise the contributions of both outgoing co-chairs, Professors Vikki Entwistle and Calvin Ho (both formerly at the Centre for Biomedical Ethics at the National University of Singapore).