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WIPO Chief Meets UN General Assembly President

by Ulrika Lomas, for, Brussels

19 June 2007

The Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Dr Kamil Idris, on Friday met with the President of the sixty-second session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), Dr Srgjan Kerim, who previously served as foreign minister of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

Discussions focused on the importance of intellectual property (IP) as a tool for development and wealth creation.

Dr Kerim was elected in May 2007 as President of the UNGA. At that time he pledged to focus the work of that body on substantive issues and to address, in a global and comprehensive manner, the major challenges facing the world today, namely climate change, globalization, terrorism, immigration, sustainable development, and the Millennium Development Goals.

One of his priorities was the question of global warming and the opportunities afforded by technological innovation to develop renewable energy and protect the environment. In talks with the WIPO Director General, Dr Kerim acknowledged the important role of IP in encouraging innovation and creativity in this area, and called on the Organization to support future efforts within the UN system to address the challenges presented by climate change.

With respect to environmental questions, Dr Idris agreed that:

“Technological innovation and intellectual property go hand in hand – they are different sides of the same coin.”

Given the growing urgency to find creative solutions to safeguard the environment, Dr Idris pledged WIPO’s continued support, in the context of multilateral efforts, to promote technological innovation.

Dr Idris later expanded the meeting with Dr. Kerim to include Geneva-based ambassadors from Central, European, Balkan and Baltic states, as well as ambassadors representing the other regional groups.

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