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New Mandate for IGC


To: globalissues-en@lists.wipo.int
Subject: New Mandate for IGC
From: Arbiter Webmaster <arbiter.webmaster@wipo.int>
Date: Thu, 23 Oct 2003 16:59:16 +0200 (CEST)
Importance: Normal

The WIPO General Assembly has recently decided on an extended mandate for the 
WIPO Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic 
Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore (IGC).  The mandate requires the 
IGC to accelerate its work, and to focus in particular on the international 
dimension of intellectual property (IP) and genetic resources, traditional 
knowledge (TK) and folklore (or ?Traditional Cultural Expressions (TCEs)?).  
The new mandate excludes no outcome for the IGC's work, including the possible 
development of an international instrument or instruments in this field. 

The following decision was reached during the thirty-ninth session of the 
General Assemby, held from September 22 to October 1, 2003:

?On the basis of the proposal by the Chair, and mindful of the importance of 
intellectual property in relation to genetic resources, traditional knowledge 
and folklore, the WIPO General Assembly decides that:

(i)  The WIPO Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic 
Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore will continue its work for the 
next budgetary biennium on questions included in its previous mandate,

(ii)  Its new work will focus, in particular, on a consideration of the 
international dimension of those questions, without prejudice to the work 
pursued in other fora,

(iii)  No outcome of its work is excluded, including the possible development 
of an international instrument or instruments.

The General Assembly urges the IGC to accelerate its work and to present a 
progress report to the session of the General Assembly in September 2004.

The General Assembly further requests the International Bureau to continue to 
assist the IGC by providing Member States with necessary expertise and 
documentation.?

Many comments at the General Assembly highlighted that the IGC's work to date 
has already led to a much greater understanding of the concepts and issues it 
has addressed, and has clarified how to deal with concerns about inadequate 
recognition and protection of TK and TCEs. The discussions highlighted the 
expectation of a number of countries that specific steps should be taken to 
strengthen protection, including the development of specific new international 
instruments; others pointed out that the significance of the issues, and their 
complexity, meant that further analysis and clarification was needed before 
crystallizing formal outcomes; there is also a view that more work needs to be 
done to explore the full potential of existing IP rights and systems to protect 
TK and TCEs. 

For more information concerning the future work of the Intergovernmental 
Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge 
and Folklore please refer to the WIPO press release available at:  
http://www.wipo.int/pressroom/en/releases/2003/p362.htm.  

A complete set of the documents of the fifth session Intergovernmental 
Committee, including the Final Report in English, are available also on the 
website at:  http://www.wipo.int/globalissues/igc/documents/index.html