WIPO Director General Francis Gurry Meets President of Hungary, Takes Part in Opening of ITU Telecommunications Conference

September 9, 2019

Budapest, HungaryWIPO Director General Francis Gurry met Hungary’s President János Áder for talks that included the development of the robotics and climate-friendly technology sectors, as well as the increasingly important role played by intellectual property (IP) in global economic competition.

WIPO Director General Francis Gurry and Hungary’s President János Áder (Photo: MTI/Noémi Bruzák)

Mr. Gurry was also among the speakers who opened the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Telecom World 2019 Conference – “Innovating Together: Connectivity That Matters.”

“The theme of this forum – connectivity and innovation – illustrates the relationship between the ITU and the World Intellectual Property Organization,” said Mr. Gurry, who gave special thanks to ITU Secretary-General, Houlin Zhao, for the conference invitation and to the Government of Hungary for hosting his two-day visit.

“But it also illustrates a much deeper truth and that is that ideas and development are nourished by connectivity. … Connectivity with others inspires innovation and this is recognized in the movement of open innovation, which opens the in-house research and development laboratory to outside influences and connections. The effectiveness of this deep truth is enhanced daily by advances in telecommunications, which facilitate the transmission and exchange of knowledge and ideas and innovation throughout the world. Telecommunications are a fundamental driver of innovation in the world today,” Mr. Gurry said.

Joining Messrs. Gurry and Zhao in opening the conference were Prime Minister Viktor Orban of Hungary; United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, via video message; and Viet Nam's Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Manh Hung.

In talks with Hungary's President Áder, Mr. Gurry expressed his appreciation of Hungary’s strong support for WIPO.

Messrs. Gurry and Áder also discussed IP’s increasingly important role in global economic competition and the WIPO Green online marketplace for climate-friendly and sustainable technology, with Mr. Áder highlighting homegrown climate friendly technologies.

In discussing the trend toward increased automation in various sectors, Mr. Gurry said that robotics are unlikely to replace human labor, but would instead ultimately push human skills higher.

Mr. Gurry also met with Hungary's Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Péter Szijjártó, for bilateral discussions including the protection of IP in a digital economy.

WIPO Director General Francis Gurry and Hungary's Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Péter Szijjártó (Photo: Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Hungary)

Mr. Szijjártó also raised his country's interest in joining the Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement on Appellations of Origin and Geographical Indications.