Subject: Postponement of the 13th Global Summit of National Bioethics Committees, Lisbon

Dear GS Delegates,

Taking into account the recent news of confirmed cases of COVID-19 around the world and in many of the countries attending the Summit, a contingency meeting was held by the Steering Committee to discuss the status of the 13th Global Summit of National Ethics and Bioethics Committees.

The following decisions were subsequently confirmed and approved by the Steering Committee, the CNECV, WHO and all other national stakeholders:

  • To postpone the event which was originally planned to take place from 18 to 20 March 2020;
  • To provisionally reserve the dates of 9-11 September 2020, subject to confirmation as soon as negotiations with the venue are concluded, and
  • To continue to monitor the situation closely in the coming weeks, in close contact with WHO and the National Health Authority.

Regretfully given the unpredictable situation related to the coronavirus outbreak in Europe, and in view of many cancellations received, starting last week, the local organizing committee made the proposal to the Steering Committee to postpone the Summit, which was accepted and supported. This decision was made after serious consideration, with the health and safety of all participants as our number one priority.

A provisional date for September 9 to 11 is being considered and will be reconfirmed as soon as possible. Nevertheless, please block your agendas for these tentative dates. We sincerely hope that by that time all uncertainties will have vanished.

We will continue to work hard, in close cooperation with the Steering Committee and WHO, to make the Global Summit in Lisbon next September 2020 a very successful Summit.

Further updates will be forthcoming when more information comes to hand.

For any further queries, please contact us at

Jorge Soares, President
National Council of Ethics for the Life Sciences, Portugal