World Intellectual Property Organization

WIPO’s Coordination Committee Nominates Francis Gurry for Second Term as Director General

Geneva, March 6, 2014
PR/2014/754

The Coordination Committee of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) nominated by consensus Mr. Francis Gurry for a second term as Director General of WIPO.

The WIPO General Assembly will meet in an extraordinary session on May 8-9, 2014 to confirm the nomination. Mr. Gurry’s first term as Director General expires on September 30, 2014.

Gurry addresses delegates following his nomination for a second term. (Photo: WIPO)

To applause from delegates, Committee Chair Ambassador Fode Seck declared Mr. Gurry the consensus nominee. Mr. Gurry offered his “heartfelt and profound thanks” to member states from all regional groups for the support given to him.

“I think that the world of intellectual property is a challenging one, but one with great opportunities,” Mr. Gurry told delegates. He said a main goal is to “maximize opportunities for all member states.”

“Let me say that I am deeply honored by your support and I am profoundly grateful to you and look forward to working with you all,” Mr. Gurry said.

The process of electing a Director General is governed by the Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization and “The Procedures for the Nomination and Appointment of Directors General of WIPO,” adopted by the General Assembly of WIPO in September 1998.

The Coordination Committee, which comprises 83 member states, held one round of voting from a list which originally included four candidates.

Mr. Gurry prevailed in that round of voting with 46 votes, with 20 votes for Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama of Nigeria, 10 votes for Panama’s Mr. Alfredo Suescum Alfaro and seven votes for Mr. Jüri Seilenthal of Estonia. According to the rules, the candidate with the least number of votes after the first round is eliminated.

Before the second round of voting began, the candidacies of Mr. Suescum and Mr. Onyeama were withdrawn and Mr. Gurry was selected as the consensus nominee by delegates signaling their acclaim with a round of applause.

Mr. Gurry’s curriculum vitae can be found here. PDF, CV of Francis Gurry

Mr. Gurry is the fourth Director General of WIPO, following Dr. Kamil Idris of Sudan (1997-2008), Mr. Arpad Bogsch of the United States (1973-1997) and Mr. Georg Bodenhausen of the Netherlands (1970-1973). The WIPO Director General serves a six-year term.

About WIPO

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is the global forum for intellectual property policy, services, information and cooperation. A specialized agency of the United Nations, WIPO assists its 187 member states in developing a balanced international IP legal framework to meet society's evolving needs. It provides business services for obtaining IP rights in multiple countries and resolving disputes. It delivers capacity-building programs to help developing countries benefit from using IP. And it provides free access to unique knowledge banks of IP information.

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