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      DATE: August 4, 1999



Twenty-Fourth (14th Ordinary) Session
Geneva, September 20 to 29, 1999


Memorandum of the Director General

1. The Assemblies of the Member States of WIPO approved, in their thirty-second series of meetings, from March 25 to 27, 1998, the proposal contained in the 1998-1999 biennial Program and Budget to establish the Policy Advisory Commission (PAC) and the Industry Advisory Commission (IAC), comprised of eminent individuals from a wide range of policy backgrounds. It was noted that "the policy-making and medium-term planning processes of WIPO, its responsiveness to international trends and technological developments, and its capacity to anticipate and to meet the needs of the market sector and users of global protection systems, would benefit considerably from the availability of informed and objective advice from eminent international experts from a broad range of fields with bearing on intellectual property cooperation and WIPO's operations" (see document A/32/2 - WO/BC/18/2,
Sub-program 01.3).

2. The mandate of these two independent advisory bodies was defined in the same document (see Sub-program 01.3). The PAC was to "identify and comprehensively review issues that may need to be dealt with by WIPO, or that may have bearing on its operations, and formulate recommendations for policy development and enhancement of WIPO's operations"; and the IAC was to "perform a complementary role from the specific perspective of industry and market sector, including users of the intellectual property system, and would also be instrumental in identifying new opportunities for enhanced support for WIPO's activities from the enterprise sector, especially in cooperation for development, and human resource development."

3. It should be noted that the role of the two Commissions is strictly advisory and consultative and shall "never replace or diminish the role of the Member States in the initiation and monitoring of the program of the Organization."

4. The IAC held its inaugural meeting at the WIPO Headquarters in Geneva on February 4 and 5, 1999. Seventeen members attended the meeting. The report on the meeting by the IAC to the Director General of WIPO is contained in Annex I.

5. The second meeting of the IAC is scheduled for September 13, 1999, and it will, as suggested by the IAC members, focus on the subject of electronic commerce and intellectual property, because it is being held prior to the WIPO International Conference on Intellectual Property and Electronic Commerce, which is scheduled to take place from September 14 to 16, 1999.

6. The inaugural meeting of the PAC took place on April 15, 1999, at the WIPO Headquarters. Twenty-three members attended the meeting, and its report to the Director General of WIPO is contained in Annex II.

7. The General Assembly is invited to note and comment on the present document and the reports to the Director General of WIPO contained in Annex I and Annex II.

[Annexes follow]

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