Thirty-Seventh Session (10th Extraordinary)
Geneva, March 18 and 19, 1997
adopted by the Coordination Committee
In accordance with the decision taken by the WIPO Coordination Committee (hereinafter referred to as "the Coordination Committee") at its Thirty-Sixth Session (27th Ordinary) in October 1996 (see document WO/CC/XXXVI/6, paragraph 6), the Coordination Committee was convened to meet at the headquarters of WIPO on March 18 and 19, 1997.
The meeting was opened and presided over by the Chairman of the Coordination Committee, Mr. Wilhelm Höynck (Germany).
The following member States of the Coordination Committee were represented at the meeting: Angola, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Côte d'Ivoire, Cuba, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, El Salvador, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kazakstan, Kenya, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, Singapore, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States of America, Uruguay, Venezuela, Zambia (66).
The following States were represented in an observer capacity: Algeria, Bahrain, Benin, Bolivia, Bulgaria, Chad, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Ecuador, Eritrea, Gabon, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Israel, Jamaica, Kyrgyzstan, Lesotho, Libya, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Mali, Mauritius, Mongolia, Nicaragua, Poland, Qatar, Republic of Moldova, Senegal, Slovakia, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, Uganda, United Arabe Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Viet Nam, Yemen (41).
The Coordination Committee adopted its agenda as proposed in document WO/CC/XXXVII/1.
Nomination to the Post of Director General
The Chairman drew the attention of delegates to document WO/CC/XXXVII/2 ("Nominations Received for the Post of Director General of WIPO"), in which were set out the nominations of the following ten persons which had been received by the Chairman by agreed deadline of January 31, 1997:
Mr. Jorge Amigo (Mexico)
Mr. François Curchod (Switzerland)
Mr. Carlos Fernández-Ballesteros (Uruguay)
Mr. Gao Lulin (China)
Mr. Kamil Idris (Sudan)
Mr. Jukka Liedes (Finland)
Mr. Jacques Michel (France)
Mr. Bojan Pretnar (Slovenia)
Mr. Shozo Uemura (Japan)
Mr. Ray A. Zikonda (Zambia).
The Chairman announced that he had received an official communication from the Government of Finland withdrawing the candidacy of Mr. Jukka Liedes.
The Chairman then introduced the "Chairman's Understanding" (document WO/CC/XXXVII/3, herewith referred to as "the Chairman's Understanding"), which set out procedures for the nomination by the Coordination Committee of a candidate for Director General. The Chairman's Understanding was adopted by the Coordination Committee.
The Delegation of Slovenia made the following statement:
"The Delegation of Slovenia is aware of the fact that the process of selecting a single candidate is an extremely complex exercise, bearing in mind the excellent personal qualities of all ten candidates. We had hoped that the adopted Rules of procedure would incorporate additional criteria to reflect the political reality so as to provide for equitable regional distribution of candidates on the short final list. Alternatively, we would have welcomed an agreement in advance about the new structure of the top WIPO management which would have opened the possibility for several candidates from different regions to contribute creatively, together with the new Director General, to the further development of WIPO in the interest of all its member States.
"We note with some regret that the adopted procedure, however practical it may be, does not take into account our views.
"Mr. Chairman, at this juncture, I wish to inform you and the members of the Committee that our Delegation is withdrawing its candidate, Dr. Bojan Pretnar, from the voting process. By doing so, our Delegation wishes to assist you in your difficult tasks. Our decision is also in line with your intention to respect fully the dignity of all candidates. I would like to state expressly that we still continue to consider Dr. Pretnar a worthy candidate. Consequently, if the chosen method for selecting a candidate, for whatever unpredictable reasons, fails to produce a satisfactory solution, and we sincerely hope that this is not going to happen, we remain open for considering any alternative suggestions by other delegations or groups of delegations."
The Delegation of Morocco stated that it wished it to be recorded in the Report that its preference had been for the choice of a single candidate in the "straw poll" envisaged in paragraph III.1 of the Chairman's Understanding. The Delegation did not understand why it had been decided that a first and a second choice should be marked on the list of candidates in the "straw poll," since it, like other delegations, had received instructions for a single candidate.
The Delegation of the Philippines stated that it shared the views expressed by the Delegation of Morocco.
In accordance with paragraph III.1 of the Chairman's Understanding the "straw poll" was then conducted.
The meeting was adjourned after the announcement of the results of the "straw poll."
Following the resumption of the meeting, the Delegation of China made the following statement:
"China is the largest developing country in the world. Its GNP has grown at an average rate of 9 percent per annum since 1978 the year when China began its economic reform and opening policy. Rapid development in economy gives great impetus to the establishment and expansion of the intellectual property rights. Within less than two decades, a fairly comprehensive legal system for intellectual property rights protection has been set up from scratch. Patent and trademark applications in China are increasing by leap and bounds. 1996 witnessed a total yearly volume of 300,000 patent and trademark filings in China.
"China is now a contracting party to Paris Convention, Berne Convention, PCT, Madrid Agreement and Madrid Protocol, and other important conventions or treaties administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). China Patent Office is the only one amongst the developing countries which has been appointed as an International Searching Authority and International Preliminary Examining Authority of PCT.
"China's legal system for intellectual property protection and its enforcement have met the requirements ahead of schedule in major aspects laid down for the developing countries by TRIPs. Its achievements in the field of intellectual property are well recognized. It is playing an increasingly important role in this field.
"Dr. Gao Lulin has served at important posts in many institutions ranging from government agencies to research sectors. Ever since 1987 when he was appointed the Commissioner of China Patent Office, Dr. Gao has made an outstanding contribution to the founding of China's legislative and enforcement system for intellectual property protection. He himself organized the development of the country's largescale patent information system. In addition to the successful launch of CDROM products of China's patent information, large scale automation in patent information system is expected to be completed next year. Thanks to his promotion and involvement, a modern China Intellectual Property Training Centre will come into operation by the end of this year, which will improve conditions provided to train experts from China as well as from the developing countries.
"Under the direction of Dr. Gao China Patent Office has engaged in fruitful cooperation with patent offices of many developing and developed countries. He was elected as Chairman of WIPO Conference, Paris Union Assembly, and WIPO Coordination Committee, and Chairman or Vicechairman at many other conferences. With his diplomatic skill, wide knowledge, and his managerial expertise, he contributed to the success of many WIPO meetings. It was in view of his achievements that the Chinese Government decided to present Dr. Gao Lulin's candidature for the Director General of WIPO.
"Many candidates have been presented for the post of WIPO Director General. It reflects the expectation and high regard member States hold for WIPO. But there can be only one Director General. Too many candidates chasing one post poses a tough choice before us. The present situation calls for cooperation. Although the Chinese Government is convinced that Dr. Gao Lulin is the qualified candidate, for the sake of facilitating the election process, we now decide to withdraw his candidature from the race for next WIPO Director General.
"China is a member of the Asian family and the largest developing country in the world. It plays an independent and constructive role in the field of international intellectual property. Taking into account Dr. Gao Lulin's experience, knowledge and capability, the Chinese Delegation considers that a place should be given to him in the top echelon of the new leadership of WIPO. We hope that delegates in the Coordination Committee and the future WIPO Director General would consider our request. For this will not only serve to enhance the representation in WIPO's management body and raise its efficiency by benefiting from different cultures, but also reflects China's commitment to WIPO, and its willingness to contribute to its work."
The Delegation of Zambia stated that it had decided to withdraw the candidacy of Mr. Ray A. Zikonda.
The Delegation of Mexico thanked delegations for the support given to Mr. Jorge Amigo in the "straw poll." The Delegation was convinced that Mr. Amigo fulfilled all the requirements for the important post of Director General but, on the request of Mr. Amigo himself, the Delegation was withdrawing the candidacy of Mr. Amigo.
In accordance with paragraph III.2 of the Chairman's Understanding, the first formal vote was then conducted on the five remaining candidates.
The Chairman announced the results of the first formal vote and declared that participation in additional votes would be restricted to the following four candidates: Mr. Carlos Fernández-Ballesteros (Uruguay), Mr. Kamil Idris (Sudan), Mr. Jacques Michel (France) and Mr. Shozo Uemura (Japan).
The meeting was then adjourned.
Following the resumption of the meeting in the evening of March 18, the Delegation of Japan made the following statement:
"In order to cope with challenging issues towards the 21st century, we should place a great importance on the following activities:
(i) systematic adoption of advanced information technologies for a better management of the organization;
(ii) further facilitation of developmental cooperation; and
(iii) international rulemaking activities to meet new requirements.
"For these goals to be achieved, we are convinced that Mr. Shozo Uemura is perfectly qualified and capable and he has a long experience and excellent expertise in the field of intellectual property. He is a right man for the collective and wellbalanced leadership, which would be created for the new management of the WIPO.
"Having said that, Mr. Chairman, the Delegation of Japan is ready to withdraw the candidacy of Mr. Shozo Uemura for the post of Director General of WIPO so as to facilitate the nomination procedure."
The meeting was then adjourned.
Following the resumption of the meeting, in the afternoon of March 19, the Delegation of Uruguay stated that Mr. Carlos Fernández-Ballesteros had requested it to withdraw his candidacy. The Delegation stated that Mr. Fernández-Ballesteros had asked it to express his thanks to the delegations that had supported him in the voting process. He was withdrawing his candidacy in order to contribute to a quick and easy election. The Delegation was withdrawing the candidacy, however, on the understanding that the Chairman's Understanding would not be changed and that a candidate for the post of Director General of WIPO would be nominated on March 19, 1997, by the Coordination Committee according to the Chairman's Understanding, that is, that, if there was no consensus, voting would be conducted until a decision was taken. The Delegation requested that this procedure be followed in the most expeditious manner and in accordance with the agreed procedures. The Delegation of Uruguay stressed that Mr. Fernández-Ballesteros was a civil servant with a long international experience and with large experience inside WIPO. He had made tremendous efforts for all the member States of WIPO and would continue to regard it as a great honor to work for WIPO. He was available to the Organization and its member States to do whatever was necessary to accomplish the lofty objectives of WIPO.
The Delegation of Swaziland expressed its sense of gratitude to the Delegation of Uruguay and its candidate. The Delegation stated that the withdrawal of the candidacy of Mr. Fernández-Ballesteros was a clear way of showing a sense of unity and of showing that WIPO was an organization with member States which displayed a sense of responsibility and hope. The Organization was not a tower of Babel, but rather an Organization committed to the service of the common interests of humanity.
The meeting was then adjourned and resumed in the evening of March 19, 1997.
The Chairman announced that consultations had not yielded a consensus and that, in accordance with paragraph III.3 of the Chairman's Understanding, a vote would be conducted between the two remaining candidates, Mr. Kamil Idris and Mr. Jacques Michel.
The Delegation of Canada read the following statement which it announced had been unanimously adopted by all members of Group B:
"The Members of Group B have participated actively over the past two days in the extensive consultations that have occurred among Coordination Committee members to arrive at a consensus decision to nominate a candidate for the position of Director General. The Members of Group B would like to thank the Chairman for his tireless efforts to attain this consensus. They accept that voting sometimes is an important element in a democratic process for building consensus. As a result, the Members of Group B wish to state that they will fully support the result of the vote we are about to take, and that they will regard the outcome of the vote as the consensus recommendation to the General Assembly by the Coordination Committee."
A vote by Secret Ballot was then conducted, following which the Chairman announced the following results:
Number of member States entitled to vote: 66 Number absent: 1 Number of abstentions: - Number of invalid ballot papers: - Number of votes recorded: 65 Number of votes obtained by each candidate: Kamil Idris: 36 Jacques Michel: 29
The Chairman announced that Mr. Kamil Idris was nominated by the Coordination Committee as the candidate for appointment to the post of Director General of WIPO. The announcement was followed by acclamation.
The Delegation of Sri Lanka, speaking on behalf of the Asian Group, the Delegation of Côte d'Ivoire, speaking on behalf of the African Group, the Delegation of Canada, speaking on behalf of Group B, the Delegation of Colombia, speaking on behalf of the Latin American and Caribbean Group, the Delegation of Hungary, speaking on behalf of the Central European and Baltic Countries and the Delegations of China, Paraguay, the Russian Federation, Sudan and Swaziland all expressed their congratulations to Mr. Kamil Idris on his nomination and expressed the hope and the belief that WIPO would go from strength to strength under the leadership of Mr. Idris. They also stated that their respective Groups and Delegations would extend full cooperation to Mr. Idris in his task of leading WIPO into the third millennium.
The same Delegations, on behalf of their respective Groups and Delegations, all expressed their gratitude to the Chairman and their admiration for the fair, transparent and tireless manner in which he had so ably conducted the very complex series of negotiations and the process leading to the nomination of Mr. Idris.
This report was unanimously adopted by the Coordination Committee on March 21, 1997.