Cambodia Joins Berne Convention

December 9, 2021

WIPO Director General Daren Tang welcomed on December 9, 2021 Cambodia’s accession to the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works.

“It is a pleasure to welcome Cambodia to the Berne Convention. This is particularly important in a country like Cambodia which has a rich cultural heritage,” Mr. Tang said. He added: “From the magic of classical Khmer dance and traditional folk music, to the Baremy record label that is promoting and distributing original Cambodian music, to the up-and-coming generation of Cambodian creators like television master chef Chan Kanha and acclaimed sculptor Chhim Sothy – the creative economy contributes over 1.5 per cent of Cambodia’s GDP and joining the Berne community will help this to increase.”

The Berne Convention, adopted in 1886, is one of the key pillars of the global copyright system. It ensures that authors around the world control how their creative and cultural works are used, by whom and on what terms.

WIPO Director General Daren Tang welcomed Cambodia's accession to the Berne Convention (Photo: Violaine Martin).

Mr. Tang further noted “We hope that today’s accession will encourage more Cambodians to explore their artistic talent, and that it will support the creative industries and creators to recover strongly from the disruptions caused by the pandemic.”

The accession document was presented to the Director General by Ambassador Kemvichet Long, Permanent Representative of Cambodia to the World Trade Organization in Geneva during a ceremony that was also attended virtually by Minister for Commerce Pan Sorasak.

”The protection of intellectual property is a key to unlock human potential,” said Minister Sorasak, adding that becoming a contracting party to the Berne Convention “will encourage Cambodian talented people to produce creative works that result in promotion and development of creative industries.”

He said this “will promote the national, cultural, traditional identities and literary, artistic, scientific works on the international stage” and “bring priceless pride to Cambodian people as a whole.”

Minister Sorasak said that being a party to the Berne Convention “will open the new page for modern Cambodian authors and creators to receive reciprocal protection for literary, artistic, and scientific works without any discrimination from the contracting parties of the Convention.”

Cambodia becomes the 180th contracting party to the Berne Convention. The Berne Convention will enter into force for Cambodia on March 9, 2022.

The Director General and Minister Sorasak also signed a memorandum of understanding to ensure that WIPO’s technical assistance and cooperation activities are aligned with Cambodia’s national economic policies and development priorities.

The agreement will also help to further strengthen Cambodia's IP ecosystem through the modernization of IP institutions, updating of IP legislation and regulations as well as building capacity of the Cambodian to effectively use the IP system.  The plan will be continuously adapted to the evolving IP needs of Cambodia and developments affecting economic development of the country.