DATE: December 23, 1996


Geneva, December 2 to 20, 1996


of Arpad Bogsch
Director General of WIPO

Madam President,
Honorable Delegates,

The International Bureau of the World Intellectual Property Organization is proud that its member States chose WIPO for preparing and serving this diplomatic conference.

The two Treaties adopted by the Conference will have an immense impact on the future development of copyright and neighboring rights.

The success is due to you, Madam President. At all difficult moments, your advice and leadership were indispensable and successful.

The success is due also to the Chairmen of the Committees, Madam Youm, Mr. Liedes, Mr. Silva Soares and Mr. Ayyar. Mr. Liedes was also the sole author of the basic proposal of the substantive clauses and, therefore, his role was important on two accounts.

The International Bureau is grateful to these five officers and all the delegates and other participants for their patience and work through which they enriched in a most important way the treaty system of WIPO.

This Diplomatic Conference did not solve all the questions that await international norm making in the field of intellectual property. But the Conference itself adopted recommendations on the work to be undertaken by WIPO for the protection of audiovisual performances and of databases. WIPO is expected to deal in the near future also with the protection of expressions of folklore and of broadcasters' rights and with the specific copyright and trademark problems of global information systems, like the Internet.

The International Bureau of WIPO will do its best that those questions be studied and possible answers to them be found in the foreseeable future.

In the meetings that will deal with those questions, the non-governmental organizations will have their important role, as usual in WIPO committees of experts and other WIPO meetings.

Madam President, allow me please to end this statement by expressing my thanks first of all to Assistant-Director General Mihály Ficsor, Secretary of the Diplomatic Conference. His deep knowledge and his perfect diplomacy were once again and particularly brilliantly demonstrated.

My thanks go also to my colleague Francis Gurry, the Secretary of Main Committee II and of the Credentials Committee, for his outstanding work. And my appreciation goes also to my colleague Carlos Claa and all my other colleagues -- dozens of them -- who served this Conference with utmost efficiency in various capacities, all indispensable for the Conference.

They certainly deserve warm applause.