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WIPO Director General Daren Tang Visits United Nations Headquarters in New York, U.S.

April 19, 2024

WIPO Director General on April 18, 2024, wrapped up a three-day visit to New York, in the United States of America, where he met with United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres and other senior officials while participating in a range of youth-focused and other activities.

In his meeting with Mr. Guterres at United Nations headquarters in New York, Messrs. Tang and Guterres discussed the intersection between intellectual property (IP) and sustainable development and WIPO’s annual World IP Day celebrations each April 26, with the 2024 theme “IP and the SDGs: Building our common future with innovation and creativity.”

WIPO Director General Daren Tang met with United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres​ (Photo: United Nations).

WIPO Director General attends Opening of ECOSOC Youth Forum 2024

Mr. Tang attended the opening session of the ECOSOC Youth Forum 2024, held at the Trusteeship Chamber in the United Nations headquarters. The forum, themed Youth shaping sustainable and innovative solutions: Reinforcing the 2030 Agenda and eradicating poverty in times of crises gathered government leaders, youth representatives, and other stakeholders to discuss youth empowerment and sustainable development. The session commenced with a performance by Chilean musician Rocío Rojas, followed by welcoming remarks from Ms. Paula Narváez, President of the Economic and Social Council, and a message from Mr. Guterres.

Youth, Work, and the Future

Mr. Tang delivered a keynote speech at a plenary session on SDG 17 – “Partnership for the Goals” - at the ECOSOC Youth Forum 2024 co-led by WIPO with the International Labour Organization (ILO), World Organisation of the Scout Movement, and the United Nations Major Group on Children and Youth, the International Organization for Migration and the International Trade Centre (ITC). The session, titled Working with youth as full-fledged partners: Youth and the future of work, delved into the evolving landscape of work, especially in the midst of rapid technological change.

WIPO Director General Daren Tang delivered a keynote On April 18, 2024, WIPO Director General Daren Tang delivered a keynote speech for the “Working with Youth as Full-Fledged Partners: Youth and the Future of Work” session held during the ECOSOC Youth Forum 2024. (Photo: WIPO/Hakizimana).

In his remarks, Mr. Tang highlighted the transformative nature of technological change and the imperative of fostering creativity and innovation. The panel discussion, featuring diverse youth voices, emphasized investing in education, promoting entrepreneurship, and evidence-based policymaking.

Empowering Youth Through Innovation, Skills-development and Leadership

Mr. Tang also delivered opening remarks during the "Innovate and Lead: Skills for Youth to Drive a Sustainable Future" event during the ECOSOC Youth Forum 2024. Co-organized by the Permanent Mission of Kenya to the United Nations, WIPO, and the ITC, the event allowed for an intergenerational exchange between Youth Ministers, leaders of youth associations, diplomats, entrepreneurs, and professionals. With over 100 diverse participants, the event provided a platform for exploring the transformative potential of youth-led innovation.

Against the backdrop of a poetry performance by Mr. Miles Hodges and live illustrations by Mr. Drew Dernavich, discussions covered topics like the impact of rapid technological change on youth employment and society. Speakers characterized the essence of leadership as service and urged for greater support and opportunities to cultivate youth entrepreneurship and innovation.

The event also addressed challenges faced by young innovators and entrepreneurs, stressing the necessity of adaptable education systems and supportive policy frameworks. Insights shared during the discussions provided practical guidance for young people navigating the global innovation landscape, emphasizing the importance of leveraging talents, seeking mentorship, and embracing a culture of innovation. Overall, the event also underscored the importance of collaborative partnerships between youth, government, private sector, and international organizations to foster sustainable development and empower the next generation of leaders.

WIPO Director General Daren Tang engaged with young leaders and delivered opening remarks at a side event during the ECOSOC Youth Forum 2024. (Photo: WIPO/Eweida).

Empowering Indigenous Youth Voices: Indigenous Youth Leading the Way in WIPO Initiatives

Mr. Tang joined a side event held in the context of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) Twenty-Third Session. WIPO organized an event titled "Empowering Indigenous Youth Voices: Indigenous Youth Leading the Way in WIPO Initiatives," where discussions revolved around leveraging technology to preserve and promote Indigenous cultures while also addressing the challenges and opportunities presented by artificial intelligence (AI). On this topic, the Director General emphasized the importance of ensuring that AI and technology work for the benefit of all people, especially Indigenous youth. 

Discussing Partnerships for Education and Innovation

Mr. Tang also participated in the launch of the African Union (AU) - United Nations College-to-College (C2C) training on Education, Science, Technology, and Innovation (ESTI), held virtually on April 17, 2024. The event, which convened high-level representatives from the African Union and the United Nations, focused on fostering collaboration to advance education, science, technology, and innovation across Africa. Mr. Mohammed Belhocine of the AU Commission on ESTI set the stage by emphasizing the critical role of education in Africa's development trajectory and highlighted ongoing continental initiatives such as the Continental Education Strategy for Africa (CESA) 2016-25 and the Science, Technology, Innovation Strategy for Africa (STISA) 2024-2034.

Mr. Tang lauded these initiatives and shared WIPO's ground-level engagement across the continent, stressing the growing recognition of intellectual property's contribution to sustainable development. Mr. Tang emphasized WIPO's commitment to supporting the C2C's strategic priorities, offering expertise and collaboration to advance education, science, technology, and innovation for Africa's benefit and that of the world.

Other Engagements

In other meetings, Mr. Tang further solidified WIPO's partnerships with key stakeholders. In discussions with Mr. Philippe Kridelka, Permanent Representative of Belgium to the UN in New York and Mr. Omar Hilale, Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of Morocco to the UN in New York, who are co-facilitators for the World Social Summit 2025, Mr. Tang highlighted the role of IP in fostering innovation and inclusive societies.

WIPO Director General Daren Tang (center) met with Philippe Kridelka, Permanent Representative of Belgium to the United Nations in New York (left), and Omar Hilale, Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of Morocco to the United Nations in in New York (Photo: WIPO/Zahran).

Mr. Tang also met UN Under-Secretary-General of Policy, Guy Ryder. Discussions focused on the preparations for the Summit of the Future to take place next September.

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