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Joint Proclamation by the Heads of Government of Six Countries Regarding the Completion of the Human Genome Sequence

April 14, 2003

We, the Heads of Government of the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Japan, France, Germany, and China, are proud to announce that scientists from our six countries have completed the essential sequence of three billion base pairs of DNA of the human genome, the molecular instruction book of human life.

Remarkable advances in genetic science and technology have been made in the five decades since the landmark discovery of the double-helix structure of DNA in April 1953. Now, in the very month and year of the 50th anniversary of that important discovery by Watson and Crick, the International Human Genome Sequencing Consortium has completed decoding all the chapters of the instruction book of human life. This information is now freely available to the world without constraints via public databases on the World Wide Web.

This genetic sequence provides us with the fundamental platform for understanding ourselves, from which revolutionary progress will be made in biomedical sciences and in the health and welfare of humankind. Thus, we take today an important step toward establishing a healthier future for all the peoples of the globe, for whom the human genome serves as a common inheritance.

We congratulate all the people who participated in this project on their creativity and dedication. Their outstanding work will be noted in the history of science and technology, and as well in the history of humankind, as a landmark achievement.

We encourage the world to celebrate the scientific achievement of completing the Human Genome Project, and we exhort the scientific and medical communities to rededicate themselves to the utilization of these new discoveries to reduce human suffering.

His Excellency Jacques Chirac, President of the French Republic.

The Honorable George Bush, President of the United States of America.

The Right Honorable Tony Blair, M.P., Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

His Excellency Gerhard Schroeder, Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany.

His Excellency Junichiro Koizumi, Prime Minister of Japan.

His Excellency WEN Jiabao, Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China.

NOTE: An original was not available for verification of the content of this joint proclamation.

George W. Bush, Joint Proclamation by the Heads of Government of Six Countries Regarding the Completion of the Human Genome Sequence Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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