Francis Gurry led WIPO as Director General from October 1, 2008 to September 30, 2020.

Address of Mr. Cham Prasidh, Senior Minister, Minister of Commerce, Cambodia

(Unofficial Transcript)

His Excellency Ambassador Alberto Dumont, Chairman of the 47 WIPO Assemblies,
Mr. Francis Gurry, Director General of the WIPO,
Honorable Heads of Delegations,
Ladies and Gentlemen.

It is great honor for me to deliver this statement on behalf of ASEAN.

Since the beginning of ASEAN-WIPO relations in 1993, of our joint cooperation has been based on the shared belief in the importance of intellectual property for social, economic and cultural development.

This shared understanding has allowed ASEAN-WIPO collaboration to blossom, broaden and intensify to include activities such as a high level IP policy dialogues and international conferences which go beyond … technical assistance and capacity building.

In the past year WIPO has organized over 40 advisory missions, workshops, study visits to and other activities and projects in the ASEAN region both at national and regional levels.

Evolving to suit the needs of the respective Asian countries, these activities cover a broad range of issues, ranging from IP assets management and commercialization, transfer of technology, formulation of national IP strategies, distance learning, digitization of patent information to creative industries.

Some of the notable regional activities include the WIPO summer school in Thailand, the WIPO international conference on creative industries in Indonesia, and the seminar on harnessing the economic potential of traditional knowledge in Malaysia.

On a national basis WIPO is also working closely with the national authorities of Vietnam in formulating its national IP strategy as well as with Cambodia, Myanmar, and Laos, in raising IP awareness.

In addition, WIPO contributions to a series of ASEAN-wide studies provide a pool of practical useful and valuable regional experience for which to draw best practices in the formulation of national IP strategies.

For instance, studies are under way in Thailand and Brunei to examine the economic contribution of copyright based industries to their national economies.

Earlier studies were completed for Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Singapore.

In the same vein the ASEAN-wide study on the strategic views of intellectual property to enhance the competitiveness of selected industries will provide an assessment of the manner in which companies in different industrial sectors have been making use of the IP system as a strategic tool for economic development.

Mr. Chairman, ASEAN’s development and advancement also offer new opportunities for cooperation with WIPO.

The inauguration of the ASEAN IP [inaudible] Project and the ASEAN patent examination cooperation are some recent examples.

The ASEAN [inaudible] Project is an on line directory of an IP related resources and services available in ASEAN member states, serves as a useful and comprehensive one stop resource for business and other interested parties.

The initiation of the ASEAN patent examination cooperation is a key milestone in ASEAN development.

The first regional patent cooperation treaty work sharing initiative aims to facilitate the small and medium enterprises and inventors to obtain patents on the inventions in the region by improving the turnaround time of processing patent applications and the quality of the search and examination report among ASEAN IP offices.

They reflect ASEAN IP policy advancement and recognition of the importance of balance and practical IP initiatives.

At the institutional level ASEAN would like to highlight that the involvement of WIPO in the ASEAN working group on IP cooperation and the annual consultation between the Director General and the ASEAN Geneva committee serve to strengthen the partnership between WIPO and ASEAN.

The institutional engagement has been elevated with a visit of Mr. Gurry to Thailand to present the King of Thailand, His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, with the WIPO global leader awards and to Singapore under its United Nations Distinguished Visitors Program.

The WIPO Singapore office, which facilitates the implementation of WIPO programs in the region has also benefited ASEAN.

We believe that the effort taken by WIPO to expand and strengthen the functions of the WIPO Singapore office is a demonstration of WIPO’s commitment to the region that will contribute to cementing ASEAN WIPO relations on all fronts.

With this positive development we are sure that WIPO will continue to be an important partner of ASEAN.

As we move ahead with the economic integration process mandated by the ASEAN charter, ASEAN WIPO cooperation will be invaluable to this journey.

Mr. Chairman, there are several pertinent and crucial challenges ahead for WIPO.

The implementation of the WIPO Development Agenda is an important issue.

Drawing on ASEAN development experience, we believe that the protection of intellectual property is not an end in itself, but a means to promote public interest, innovation and technological progress.

We trust that the full and proper implementation of the 45 recommendations would bring about more transparent, effective and efficient technical assistance.

The facilitation of norms setting processes in WIPO, taking into account development goals, greater cooperation in initiatives for technology transfer and a more comprehensive understanding among Member States on the use and impact of intellectual property for development and economic growth.

In this regard we welcome the implementation of the greater coherence and value to WIPO work.

More importantly, ASEAN wishes to highlight that the spirit of the WIPO Development Agenda involves the mainstreaming of development into all aspects of WIPO activities.

This will guide WIPO well in becoming more responsive to the emerging needs and take into account different levels of national development so as to ensure that the underlying objectives that IP seeks to promote are ultimately met.

Another issue important to ASEAN is the work of the Intergovernmental Committee on Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore.

ASEAN strongly supports the renewal of the IGC mandate and an acceleration of its work toward tangible outcomes for the effective protection of genetic resources, traditional knowledge and folklore.

Increasingly IP is intertwined in the global debate on pressing issues such as climate change, public health and food security.

The organization of the conference on IP public policy and global challenges in July this year was timely and the comprehensive conference agenda provided a wealth of useful information and differing perspectives that contribute positively to ongoing global debates on these issues.

Symbolically, the conference also is a reflection of WIPO pre-eminent role in IP matters, and importance of advancing practical IP initiatives.

ASEAN applauds WIPO for the successful conference.

We hope that WIPO will continue to take the lead in the dialogue on IP and public policy matters with other players in international committee.

Mr. Chairman, ASEAN-WIPO have forged a strong and cooperative relationship.

All the recent developments in ASEAN-WIPO collaboration are testament to the progress, success and multifaceted nature of ASEAN WIPO relations.

We look forward to building on this good foundation and pleasurable commitment to work closely with Mr. Gurry and his incoming team in moving WIPO’s agenda forward.

I thank you very much for your attention.