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WIPO Member States Agree On Development Agenda

by Ulrika Lomas, for, Brussels

02 October 2007

Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization, Dr Kamil Idris, has welcomed a decision by WIPO member states on Friday to adopt a Development Agenda, consisting of a series of recommendations to enhance the development dimension of the Organization’s activities.

The recommendations contain a set of 45 agreed proposals covering six clusters of activities. These include: Technical Assistance and Capacity Building; Norm-setting, Flexibilities, Public Policy and Public Knowledge; Technology Transfer, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and Access to Knowledge; Assessments, Evaluation and Impact Studies; and Institutional Matters, including Mandate and Governance.

Dr Idris announced that:

“This is a historic day for the Organization and its member states. The adoption of the Development Agenda is testimony to the international community’s commitment to promote the evolution of an IP system that addresses the needs and concerns of all countries.”

He continued:

“This milestone decision is an important and positive step towards ensuring that the international intellectual property system continues to serve the public good by encouraging and rewarding innovation and creativity in a balanced and effective manner.”

At Friday's meeting, member states agreed to establish a Committee on Development and Intellectual Property to develop a work-program for implementation of the adopted recommendations. This Committee will monitor, assess, discuss and report on the implementation of all recommendations adopted, by coordinating with relevant WIPO bodies and will discuss IP and development-related issues as agreed by the Committee and decided by the General Assembly.

The Committee, which will be comprised of representatives from member states, will be open to all accredited intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, and is expected to hold its first meeting in the first half of 2008. The Committee will report, and may make recommendations annually to the General Assembly.

Following a process of informal consultations prior to the General Assembly, in the context of the Provisional Committee on a WIPO Development Agenda (PCDA), member states had identified 19 proposals for immediate implementation. With the approval of the General Assembly, these proposals will now be implemented immediately by WIPO.

A proposal for a development agenda for WIPO was first launched by Argentina and Brazil, and supported by an additional 12 developing countries, at the 2004 WIPO General Assembly.

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