AB/XXX/4 Rev.


The Delegation of Colombia, speaking on behalf of the Latin American and Caribbean Group, stated that on the subject of the Agenda, the GRULAC considered it irrelevant to have discussions on staff matters at this meeting, and therefore, it was inappropriate to include item 5 in the draft agenda. The Delegation further stated that it had repeatedly spoken of its profound dissatisfaction with the flagrant imbalance in the geographical distribution of directorships within the Organization, and pointed out that of the 26 senior directorships (at grade D.1 and D.2), only two were Latin American, and, according to the new proposal, those directorships would increase to 29 without any increase in the number of Latin American citizens in such posts. In spite of the repeated requests from GRULAC to the effect that some balance should be restored to such appointments, there were no proposals written into the present documents that would have the effect of redressing the situation. GRULAC reaffirmed its rejection of the dealings to which the subject had given rise within WIPO. Of the proposals mentioned in item 5 of the draft Agenda, the Delegation wished to make it clear that GRULAC had nothing against the persons proposed for promotion, and that its aim was not to make a move that might be interpreted as seeking to obstruct staff development within WIPO, or to close the route whereby other regions might have their representatives within the Organization. What it was requested, therefore, was to place a matter of principle on record. The spokesman for GRULAC said that the draft program could be approved by a majority but not by consensus, as an entire regional group would be standing aside from the debate. It proposed deferment of consideration of the subject to a later opportunity, at which time, the Director General elect, who undoubtedly would have his own views on the subjects in question, could take part.

The Delegation of Côte d'Ivoire, speaking on behalf of the African Group, considered item 5 to be an important matter that warranted examination; the Delegation had confidence in the Director General who had proposed the item concerned and therefore wished that it should remain on the draft agenda.

The Delegation of Canada, speaking on behalf of Group B, noted that the agenda item involved two issues, first of all regular salary adjustments, secondly, promotions to management positions at the D1 level. Although these were management positions, they were relatively junior. While appreciative that the Coordination Committee had reached consensus on a candidate to be nominated at the full session of the Governing Bodies as the next Director General, it believed that, in the meantime, WIPO must continue to function effectively. It also noted that it was important that a structure be put in place to support the treaties adopted at the Diplomatic Conference in December. Therefore, Group B supported the African group in maintaining this item on the agenda for discussion at a later time.

The Delegation of Sri Lanka, stated in the name of the Asian Group that it too agreed to retain this agenda item as it was for the reasons given by the Delegation of Canada as coordinator for Group B, as well as by Côte d'Ivoire on behalf of the African countries. It fully supported the retention of this item, which should not be considered for deletion.

The Delegation of Argentina supported what had been said by the delegate of Colombia, on behalf of GRULAC (and pointed out that there was a national of the African continent on the list and that there was not one national of the Latin American and Caribbean region). It further stated that GRULAC had expressed its regret regarding the very scant representation of the Latin American and Caribbean region among the directors of the Organization on many previous occasions. In this respect the Delegation endorsed the statement made by the Delegation of Colombia on behalf of GRULAC.

The Delegation of Egypt supported the position made by the delegate of Côte d'Ivoire, and said that it was important to take into account the evolution that was taking place within WIPO and asked to maintain this item on the draft agenda.

The Delegation of Chile supported the proposal made by the representative of Colombia on behalf of GRULAC, and stated that it did not consider it right, or appropriate to deal with subjects such as this at an extraordinary session of the Governing Bodies. This meeting was convened pursuant to the decision adopted by the Diplomatic Conference last December, its purpose being to deal with the future work on the two subjects of audiovisual fixations and databases. Referring to what was said by the representative of Canada on behalf of Group B, namely that in their opinion, the International Bureau of WIPO, should carry on functioning, the Delegation fully agreed with that statement, but believed that the subject should be considered in a broader context, and recalled in that connection that two important positions within the Organization, those of Legal Counsel and Internal Auditor, had been vacant since the previous year. It mentioned further that there had been competitions for both posts the previous year, that candidates from within the region with good professional qualifications had applied, but that regrettably the competition had subsequently been canceled.

The Delegation of Israel expressed its support for the position put forward by the Delegations of Canada and Côte d'Ivoire. It stated that the work of the organization should be continued smoothly and since this had been put on the agenda of the General Assembly, it should be discussed. The Delegation did not agree at this stage, to delete this item from the agenda.

The Delegation of Saudi Arabia expressed its confidence in the Director General, Dr. Arpad Bogsch and supported his proposal. It also supported the declaration made by the Coordinator of the Asian Group concerning the maintaining of the agenda item No. 5. He requested that this question be discussed during this session and that the same procedure be followed as before.

The Delegation of Algeria also supported the maintaining of item 5 on the agenda. It was important, the Delegation added, that the Organization should be able to continue its work in peace and the tranquillity of the staff constituted an important quality in that respect, that had to be supported. Aware of that fact, the Delegation of Algeria requested that the item concerned remained on the draft agenda and hoped that each delegation would be able to fully express its point of view during the discussions on the various proposals made by the Director General.

The Chinese Delegation expressed its concurrence with the statements made by the African group, the Asian group and Group B that item no. 5 on the current agenda should be retained.

The Director General said that the declaration of the honorable delegate of Colombia would be clearly reflected in the report.

The Delegation of the United Arab Emirates confirmed the importance of agenda item 5 and expressed its support for what was stated by the other Delegations concerning the maintaining of item no. 5.

[List of participants is available in Adobe PDF format]