WIPO places an important emphasis on providing development-oriented technical assistance in the field of intellectual property (IP) to developing countries and least developed countries (LDCs) in the Africa, Arab, Asia and the Pacific, and Latin America and the Caribbean regions.
Simply put: a large part of the South is now able and ready to contribute to its own development. An important number of countries in the South have developed significant technological capabilities and know-how and learned to harness the power of science, technology and innovation as an engine for development. This in turn has led to the rise of innovative, tailor-made, potentially transferable and adaptable solutions to address common Southern development challenges in the field of IP.
Developing countries are no longer viewed simply as recipients of technology innovations and know-how but also as sources thereof. Recognized by the United Nations as a key means of effecting technical cooperation, South-South cooperation has therefore become, in recent years, an increasingly significant vector, running in parallel to North-South cooperation, for sharing knowledge, experiences, know-how, solutions and technologies.
South-South developmental cooperation in the field of IP includes:
- the exchange of experiences;
- the pooling, sharing and utilization of resources; and
- the development of complementary capacities among developing countries and LDCs.
WIPO's role is largely that of a catalyst, spurring promising home-grown initiatives onwards, whilst facilitating the mutually-beneficial exchanges that underpin South-South cooperation.
WIPO's role in South-South cooperation is guided by the organization's Development Agenda. This comprehensive framework ensures a cross-cutting and inclusive approach to development cooperation throughout WIPO's activities in the field of IP.