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Decision-making and Negotiating Bodies

Our member states and observers meet regularly in the various WIPO Committees and decision-making bodies. Their challenge is to negotiate the changes and new rules needed to ensure that the international IP system keeps pace with the changing world, and continues to serve its fundamental purpose of encouraging innovation and creativity.

We are committed to transparency and inclusiveness. All meeting documents are available online. You can also freely follow discussions in our Assemblies and Committees via our live webcasting service, or access videos of past sessions.

General Rules of Procedure of WIPO

Special Rules of Procedure of the Governing Bodies of WIPO and of the Unions Administered by WIPO PDF, Special Rules of Procedure of the Governing Bodies of WIPO and of the Unions Administered by WIPO

Special Rules of Procedure of WIPO Standing Committees

Governing Bodies

Established by the WIPO Convention, these constituent organs, are WIPO’s highest decision-making bodies. They meet annually in either ordinary or extraordinary sessions.

Standing Committees

These are ad hoc committees of experts established by a decision of the General Assembly for a given purpose, e.g. to determine the need or otherwise for new treaty provisions:

Financing of Participants

The International Bureau of WIPO offers financial assistance to a number of Member State delegations representing Least-Developed Countries, Developing Countries or Countries in Transition to attend sessions of the Standing Committees.  Eligible Member State delegations are financed pursuant to nominations made by their respective Groups.

Election of Chairs and Vice-Chairs

Officers for Standing Committees (one Chair and two Vice-chairs) are elected by the Standing Committees in accordance with the WIPO General Rules of Procedure, and the respective Special Rules of Procedure adopted by the respective Standing Committees, as the case may be.

Timing and Format of Working Documents

Working documents for sessions of the Standing Committees are circulated in accordance with the WIPO General Rules of Procedure, i.e., at the same time as the invitation or as soon as possible thereafter, with due regard to the working modalities of the Committee in question.

Virtual and hybrid meetings

Information concerning virtual and hybrid meetings is available on the WIPO Meetings webpage.

Working groups

Any WIPO Standing Committee or other body can also decide to establish a working group to examine a particular question in more detail.

Diplomatic Conferences

If one of the Standing or Permanent Committees determines that sufficient progress has been made to move towards treaty adoption, the General Assembly can decide to convene a Diplomatic Conference. This is a high level meeting of member states, convened with the sole purpose of finalizing negotiations on a new treaty. The most recent have included: