The term of office of the Director General of WIPO will expire on September 30, 2020. Consequently, as set forth below, WIPO Member States have been engaged in the process of the election of the next Director General, whose term of office will begin on October 1, 2020.
The proposals for candidates for nomination to the post of Director General that were received by the deadline of 5 p.m. on Monday, December 30, 2019, are listed below.
On October 9, 2019, during the 59th Series of meetings of the Assemblies of the Member States of WIPO, the WIPO General Assembly, the WIPO Coordination Committee and the Paris and Berne Union Assemblies approved new 2019 Procedures for the Nomination and Appointment of Directors General of WIPO.
In addition, Member States approved the convening of the following extraordinary sessions of the relevant bodies as part of the timeline for the election of the Director General in 2020:
The following list provides, in the order in which they were received, the candidates proposed by their respective governments for nomination to the post of Director General of WIPO in 2020, together with the notifications of the respective submissions as issued by the Chair of the WIPO Coordination Committee:
|Candidate||Proposed by||Relevant documents|
|Ms. Saule Tlevlessova||Republic of Kazakhstan||Circular|
|Mr. Daren Tang||Republic of Singapore||Circular|
|Mr. Kenichiro Natsume||Japan||Candidacy withdrawn (February 14, 2020)
|Ms. WANG Binying||China||Circular|
|Dr. Edward Kwakwa||Ghana||Circular|
|Mr. Marco Matías Alemán||Colombia||Circular|
|Dr. Dámaso Pardo||Argentina||Candidacy withdrawn (February 4, 2020)
|Professor Adebambo Adewopo||Nigeria||Candidacy withdrawn (February 12, 2020)
|Mr. Ivo Gagliuffi Piercechi||Peru||Circular|
|Mr. Jüri Seilenthal||Estonia||Candidacy withdrawn (January 22, 2020)
Following the closure of the deadline for submissions, a formal document consolidating all proposed candidates was prepared for consideration by the WIPO Coordination Committee.
On March 4, 2020, the WIPO Coordination Committee met in Extraordinary Session in order to nominate a candidate to the post of Director General of WIPO from among the six proposed candidates. Following two rounds of voting, conducted by secret ballot, the Coordination Committee nominated Mr. Daren Tang for appointment to the post of Director General by the WIPO General Assembly, the Paris Union Assembly, and the Berne Union Assembly.
On May 7 and 8, 2020, the WIPO General Assembly, the Paris Union Assembly, and the Berne Union Assembly will meet in Extraordinary Session to appoint the next Director General of WIPO.
In light of the unprecedented public health emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and related restrictions on public gatherings, Member States have agreed to conduct, exceptionally, the meeting of the WIPO Assemblies on May 7 and 8 in the form of a written procedure.
The Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO Convention) contains the following provisions on the nomination and appointment of the Director General.
“The Coordination Committee shall:
“…(v) when the term of office of the Director General is about to expire, or when there is a vacancy in the post of the Director General, nominate a candidate for appointment to such position by the General Assembly; if the General Assembly does not appoint its nominee, the Coordination Committee shall nominate another candidate; this procedure shall be repeated until the latest nominee is appointed by the General Assembly”;
“The General Assembly shall:
“(i) appoint the Director General upon nomination by the Coordination Committee”;
“(g) For the appointment of the Director General…the required majority must be attained not only in the General Assembly but also in the Assembly of the Paris Union and the Assembly of the Berne Union.”