facilitate the movement of scientists around the world—for instance, to participate in meetings or collaborate in multidisciplinary and international working groups.
I want to clarify that for ICLAS, harmonization of guidelines does not mean standardization. This is an important point of this program. ICLAS supports harmonization of animal care and use policies, guidelines, and other forms of regulations on a worldwide basis as a reflection of the globalization of research. It does not mean standardization. ICLAS considers that each country should be able to maintain an animal welfare oversight system that reflects its own culture, tradition, religion, laws, and regulations. One of the big challenges that will face this program is whether the various countries and regions will incorporate this kind of document into their regulations while maintaining respect for their own laws, culture, and religion.
Let me conclude this presentation by saying that the objective in which the ICLAS harmonization program would like to succeed is the international harmonization of existing guidelines for the use of animals in research, teaching, and testing. This will be essential in the globalization of research all over the world. In addition, communication and partnership among national, regional, and international organizations will ensure the global harmonization of the use of animals.
It must be understood that national guidelines will always supersede international guidelines. However, it is also important that each country recognize and implement international core principles for the care and use of laboratory animals.