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The Biotechnology Initiative
The Life Sciences Revolution and the Implications for Development


The revolution in the life sciences has been progressing for several decades. But it has now moved into a new phase. New opportunities and challenges are emerging, and these warrant the close attention of the international community.

Developments in biology, information technology, and the physical and engineering sciences are now coming together to spawn new inter-disciplinary areas in the life sciences. Almost limitless possibilities for new applications of biotechnology in health, agriculture, energy, industry, and the environment are opening up, but there are also new safety, security and ethical concerns.

It is on this basis that a new Biotechnology Initiative has been developed at the UN Secretariat. The programme is coordinated by the Strategic Planning Unit of the Executive Office of the Secretary-General.

These web pages aim to provide information to a global audience about the work of the Biotechnology Initiative, and also give objective summaries of the various technologies, their applications in key sectors, and the policy and ethical issues that relate to them.

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