ITEM 1 OF THE CONSOLIDATED AGENDA:
6. The thirty-third series of meetings of the Assemblies and other bodies of the Member States of WIPO was convened by the Director General of WIPO, Dr. Kamil Idris (hereinafter referred to as "the Director General").
7. The sessions of the Assemblies and other bodies of the Member States of WIPO were opened in a joint meeting of all the 21 bodies concerned by the Chair of the General Assembly, Ms. Sheila Batchelor (Canada).
8. The Chair of the WIPO General Assembly made the following statement:
"With great sadness and a profound sense of loss, I call this thirty-third session of Assemblies of the World Intellectual Property Organization to order.
"Last week, two senior staff of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) were killed in a tragic crash of their flight off the coast of Canada while returning from New York to Geneva.
"Ludwig Baeumer spent a long and distinguished career in WIPO and its predecessor BIRPI. He was recognized by all as a thinker and a leading jurist in the field of Industrial Property Law. His career, which began as a Legal assistant in the Industrial Property Division, was marked over the next 30 years by a series of promotions which recognized his capabilities and his contributions to the development of international industrial property norms.
"It seemed that whenever there was a diplomatic conference, whether it was related to patents, marks, or industrial designs, Ludwig Baeumer was there - guiding and supporting the Member States in their deliberations, and helping us move the agenda of the protection of industrial property forward.
"The consummate professional, a man of the highest integrity, Ludwig Baeumer epitomized the international public servant - gracious, highly competent, dedicated to the mission of WIPO. His vast knowledge and incisive mind were recognized not only by the governmental community but also by the worldwide intellectual property profession. His death comes as he was once again guiding us forward to another diplomatic conference foreseen by the preparatory work on the draft Patent Law Treaty.
"When Joachim Bilger joined WIPO in 1993, he brought with him an already high reputation of absolute dedication to the highest standards of financial management in the United Nations system. His contribution to the reform of financial management practices in the larger UN family over 17 years had already been recognized by the Secretary-General himself, who award Joachim Bilger the first prize under the Staff and Incentive Program for his improvements to UN financial and personnel procedures.
"All of us in this room know the amazing contribution of Joachim Bilger to our common goals over the past year. He was the driving force behind our new results-based program and budget. As our newly appointed Controller, he was also introducing modern financial management practices into the day-to-day operations of the organization. He was himself, highly capable, energetic, enthusiastic and absolutely selfless and tireless on behalf of WIPO and our interests; but ever modest, he was always quick to point out that it was his team that deserved all recognition and it was only through them that he was able to fulfill our challenge to position WIPO to be a leader in the 21st Century.
"Ludwig Baeumer and Joachim Bilger will be sadly missed by us all. As Chair of the General Assembly of the World Intellectual Property Organization, on behalf of the General Assembly and all Member States of WIPO, I would like first of all to extend our most heartfelt condolences to the families and loved ones of Ludwig Baeumer and Joachim Bilger. If our grief at these unexpected and tragic deaths is great, theirs is beyond measure.
"Again on your behalf, I would like to ask the Director General to convey to all WIPO employees the sincere condolences of the Member States for the loss of two such valued colleagues and friends.
"Those who worked directly for and with Ludwig Baeumer and Joachim Bilger are particularly in our thoughts and prayers. For them, the fact that their day-to-day professional interaction with men of such high caliber will be no more, is a singular loss.
"I would like to say a few words to you, Kamil; from all of us in this room. It hardly seems possible that it was just one short year ago that we elected you as the new Director General of WIPO. The burden we placed on your shoulders was heavy. One which could only be achieved through a strong and dedicated team of senior staff, working with you to bring your vision to reality.
"In Ludwig Baeumer you had a senior member of your team who represented continuity and all the best that has been WIPO over the past 30 years. In Joachim Bilger, you had a senior member of your team who represented the forces of change and a vision of future excellence for WIPO. To lose them both so suddenly and so tragically is, I know, a deep, personal devastation for you.
"And so, to you, our deepest sympathy as you face the difficult days ahead without Ludwig Baeumer and Joachim Bilger by your side.
"Would you like to say a few words Director General?"
9. The Director General responded with the following statement:
"Madam Chair, Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates. I have the painful duty of informing you of the tragic and premature deaths of two very dear friends and respected colleagues, Ludwig Baeumer and Joachim Bilger. They were both on mission in New York last week, attending to separate matters. They were both rushing back to Geneva in time for consultations and meetings with Member States. Their plane, Swissair 111 crashed off the coast of Canada last Wednesday night.
"We are all still in a state of shock. The organization, the Secretariat and the Member States have suffered a grievous blow.
"Fate has robbed us of two of our best and most senior colleagues. I do not hide from you that it may take months to fill the gap which their departure has left.
"Ludwig Baeumer and Joachim Bilger were universally admired and appreciated. Their total dedication, loyalty their moral rectitude and their unfailing courtesy were exemplary. What the organization is today is owed to men and women like them.
"What makes our loss so hard to bear is that they were also our friends and our brothers. We worked together, but we also shared happy moments and common interests. We gave them our affection and received theirs and we are now bereft.
"Like us in the Secretariat, so many of you knew Ludwig and Joachim. Our loss is therefore a common loss, our grief a common grief.
"Ludwig and Joachim will always be remembered by all of us and by me personally. As international civil servants, we will remember them as shining examples of the ideal of universal brotherhood. As friends, we remember their humanity and their big hearts.
"Their loved ones face unbearable suffering, we give them our support unreservedly and unconditionally.
"We do not forget the terrible fate that has also fallen on all the people on board the fateful flight. To their families and their countries we extend the heartfelt condolences of the organization.
"Above all we convey to the people and the government of the Swiss Confederation, to the delegation of Switzerland our deepest sympathies. We mourn with them in their dark hour.
"Two condolence books will be opened for signature this afternoon on a table by the documents counter in the CICG building. They will remain open through Friday. Each will later be sent to the respective family, as silent witness of your, our, esteem and affection. Thank you."
10. The Chair of the WIPO General Assembly responded:
"Thank you Director General. Colleagues - we are an international community - and the common goals which we pursue are only made possible when Member States fully encourage and support some of their best and their brightest who are working on our behalf. All of us who have nationals in senior positions in international organizations point with pride at the contribution which through them, our country is able to make. As Ludwig Baeumer and Joachim Bilger were German nationals, in this fatal accident our colleagues from Germany have lost two exceptional international public servants. I would like to give the floor to the Distinguished delegate from Germany.
11. Ambassador Höynck, Ambassador of Germany to the United Nations in Geneva made the following statement:
"I thank the Chair and the Director General for the opportunity to speak on behalf of my Government, and on behalf of the German UN Community in Geneva.
"Mr. Director General, dear Kamil, let me express what we have experienced these days on many occasions: WIPO's loss is our loss.
"Germany and the German UN community have lost two men who had specific standing and role. Ludwig Baeumer was a man who had the gift to inspire confidence and to make friends. Joachim Bilger has been for many years the Chairman of the Association of German Staff Members of international organizations. With the devotion to his tasks, which was one of his outstanding characteristics, he cared for the problems and the interests of his colleagues. Ludwig Baeumer and Joachim Bilger are gone. But they remain our friends. And for that matter they continue to be with us. In this spirit we share the grief of their families.
"Let me conclude with words of Max Frisch - one of the great Swiss German writers - on a similar occasion: "Unser Freundeskreis unter den Toten wird grosser" which means the circle of our friends among the dead has been extended. I thank you."
12. The Chair of the WIPO General Assembly responded:
"On behalf of the General Assembly and all the Member States, I would like to extend our condolences to you and to the other members of the German delegation, and through you to all friends and colleagues of Ludwig Baeumer and Joachim Bilger in Germany, who are mourning the deaths of two outstanding fellow countrymen.
"Distinguished Delegates, many of you in this room have worked closely with both Ludwig Baeumer and Joachim Bilger over the years. You have indicated that you would like to have a way to pay your own personal tributes to each of them. A book of condolences for Ludwig Baeumer and another one for Joachim Bilger will be opened and delegations and individual delegates are invited to remember each man with their own words. At the end of the General Assembly each book will be forwarded to our late colleagues' families so that they may know the high esteem in which their loved one was held by the international intellectual property community during his lifetime.
"Distinguished delegates, I wish our grief could stop here but most unfortunately, on the same flight as our WIPO colleagues was a bright, dynamic young woman from the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property, Karine Richard. A lawyer by profession, Karine's career was just beginning, you may have seen her here at our meetings or talked with her during coffee breaks; if so, you will have been struck by her enthusiasm for the world of Intellectual Property and her delight at being part of the WIPO community. I would like to ask the distinguished delegate from Switzerland if he would like to take the floor."
13. Ambassador Gyger, Permanent Representative of Switzerland to the United Nations in Geneva made the following statement:
"Madam Chair, Director General, Your Excellencies, Ladies, Gentlemen
"As the representative of the host country, it is for me to assume the heavy burden of speaking on this day of profound sorrow for Switzerland and for the international community of Geneva.
"Death struck cruelly on September 3 of this year. That day's tragedy first led to grief and pity. Those feelings rapidly gave way to incredulity, to consternation and then to horror and the pain of discovering people we knew or who were close to us. Many were those who felt a sense of revolt at so many lives that had been tragically and unjustly taken. Death has struck two members of our Organization, that we knew not only as colleagues but also as friends, Ludwig Baeumer and Joachim Bilger. It is extremely painful to imagine now that there will be a session of the General Assembly without them. They will leave an immense gap. We shall miss their experience, their professional qualities, their dedication and their friendship. Permit me, on behalf of the Swiss Government, the Federal Administration and, in particular, on behalf of the Federal Intellectual Property Institute, to extend their condolences to you and, in particular, to their families who have suffered such a painful loss.
"Death unfortunately chose a further victim, a member of the Federal Intellectual Property Institute, Karine Richard, a lawyer in the International Affairs Service. Some of you will certainly have kept a radiant memory of her grace and professional competence. She was the daughter of a fellow Ambassador of Switzerland and had begun her activities in Berne in September of last year. Quite recently, she had actively prepared for these Assemblies by participating in the informal consultations on July 8. Intellectual property had become her passion; she was destined for a brilliant career. Fate has decided otherwise. In addition to the immense grief of her family, those close to her, her friends and colleagues, the death of Karine Richard is an immense loss for the Institute, for the Federal Administration and for Switzerland.
"The sorrow that today fills our hearts, even if we must face up to the implacable rigor of fate, must also give us the courage to continue on our road and to complete our mission, particularly in honor and in memory of those persons who have so tragically left us."
14. The Chair of the WIPO General Assembly replied:
"To our colleagues in the Delegation of Switzerland, I extend, on behalf of the General Assembly and all the Member States of WIPO, our deepest sympathy for the grief of a Nation and for the loss of one so young and with so much promise.
"Distinguished delegates, a few short days ago we lost colleagues from three generations of the intellectual property community, each of whom had demonstrated the highest commitment and dedication to our common goals.
"Ludwig Baeumer, who over his 30 years of dedicated service, earned the highest respect within the international community as a leading intellectual property jurist.
"Joachim Bilger, a man at the height of his creative powers dedicated to the financial and organizational integrity of WIPO which will be one of our major strengths in years ahead; and Karine Richard, a dynamic young woman, representing the future and the hope of all that is yet to come.
"We are so much the poorer for their tragic and untimely deaths.
"May their souls rest in everlasting peace. I ask you all to rise for one minute of silence in memory of Ludwig Baeumer, Joachim Bilger and Karine Richard."