World Intellectual Property Organization

Director General-Elect Addresses Importance of WIPO Development Agenda

Geneva, July 7, 2008
PR/2008/558

Mr. Francis Gurry, who has been nominated by the Coordination Committee of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to become the next Director General of WIPO, emphasized, at the opening of the WIPO Committee on Development and Intellectual Property (CDIP), on July 7, 2008, his commitment to the effective implementation of the WIPO Development Agenda, pledging to personally supervise this important initiative in the future.

Speaking at the invitation of Ambassador C. Trevor Clarke, the Chairman of the CDIP, Mr. Gurry said “I would like to repeat my assurance of the importance which I attach to the Development Agenda.  It is a major achievement for this Organization to have adopted by consensus a Development Agenda.”  He said that the Development Agenda is “a major opportunity to address the role of intellectual property in development and the contribution of intellectual property to narrowing the knowledge gap and the digital divide.”  He said “it is my firm view that the successful implementation of the Development Agenda is vital to the future success of this Organization.”  Mr. Gurry further underlined the important challenge of establishing a work program that “ensures an appropriate implementation of the Development Agenda.” 
 
“The Development Agenda is not merely a question of capacity building,”  Mr. Gurry told the CDIP, which was established by the WIPO General Assembly in October 2007 and is currently holding its second session (July 7-11, 2008).  “The development dimension must be taken into account horizontally across the Organization,” he added.  Mr. Gurry said that he intended to personally supervise the work of the Development Agenda, “not only to signal its importance but also because it is appropriate to ensure the coordination of all of the Organization’s activities with respect to the Development Agenda.” 
 
Mr. Gurry, who is currently Deputy Director General of WIPO, made specific reference to proposals that seek to improve access to and efficient use of technological information contained in patent documents and scientific papers by research institutes and universities in developing countries.  He further alluded to the need to enhance the infrastructure and capacity of intellectual property offices of developing countries to enable them to participate more fully in the knowledge economy. 
 
Mr. Gurry assured delegations that the appropriate budgetary resources would be made available to support the implementation of the proposals contained in the Development Agenda. 
 
At its first meeting from March 3 to 7, 2008, the CDIP moved forward in discussing the implementation of the WIPO Development Agenda. That meeting adopted the rules of procedure of the CDIP and held detailed discussions on developing a work program for implementation of the recommendations approved by the General Assembly. For more information, please see http://www.wipo.int/pressroom/en/articles/2008/article_0012.html.

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