World Intellectual Property Organization

Committee Reports: Breakthrough in Development Agenda Discussions

April 2007

"IP protection is not an end in itself, but should serve a wider social and economic interest." - Director General Kamil Idris

WIPO Director General Kamil Idris joined delegates and observers in warmly welcoming the positive outcome achieved at the February 19 to 23 meeting of the Provisional Committee on Proposals Related to a WIPO Development Agenda (PCDA).

Under the chairmanship of Ambassador C. Trevor Clarke, Permanent Representative of Barbados to the United Nations in Geneva, the negotiators from 105 countries, looking at proposals to enhance the development dimension in WIPO’s work, agreed on a first set of recommendations. This will be a part of the final list of agreed proposals to be recommended for action to the WIPO General Assembly in September 2007, following a further meeting of the PCDA in June 2007. The first set of recommendations pertain to WIPO’s work in the areas of technical assistance and capacity building; norm-setting, flexibilities, public policy and public domain; technology transfer, information and communication technologies and access to knowledge; assessment, evaluation and impact studies; institutional matters, including mandate and governance; and certain other issues.

Dr. Idris congratulated negotiators on showing the political will, the spirit of compromise and the mutual understanding necessary to move these discussions forward. "I am certain that it is the collective will of members of this Organization and the Secretariat," he said, "to ensure that international efforts to build the intellectual property (IP) system are balanced and responsive to the needs and interests of all countries – developed and developing. IP protection is not an end in itself, but should serve a wider social and economic interest. The rights of inventors and creators have to be balanced by wider considerations of the good of society."

Proposals

The WIPO General Assembly in October 2006 had agreed to renew the mandate of the PCDA for a year. The General Assembly agreed that the PCDA should hold two 5-day sessions to allow for structured in-depth discussions on all 111 proposals made to date, and identified the list of proposals to be discussed in the first and second sessions. In this regard, Ambassador Manalo of the Philippines, Chairman of the General Assembly, had produced an initial working document in consultation with Member States in December 2006 and January 2007. This was used as a working document of the PCDA. At this first session in February, the PCDA chairman requested specific delegations to coordinate discussions on the proposals listed in the different clusters, in an attempt to reach a consensus on the list of agreed proposals. The draft lists prepared by the different delegations were discussed in the plenary, and the PCDA agreed on several sets of proposals.

Based on WIPO Press Release no. 478 of February 26.

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