Director General Opens High Level International Conference in Cairo on Copyright and Development, Receives Award for Outstanding Contribution to the World of Publishing

Geneva, January 30, 2007

The Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Dr. Kamil Idris, delivered a keynote statement at an international conference on copyright and development, opened by Egypt's First Lady, H.E Mrs. Suzanne Mubarak, in Cairo,on Saturday, January 27, 2007, and emphasized the importance of intellectual property as a tool for economic, social and cultural development. During a separate meeting with the First Lady, Dr. Idris thanked Mrs. Mubarak for her leadership in supporting projects to highlight the importance of the copyright sector in national economic, social and cultural development processes. They also agreed on the critical need for conducting public awareness campaigns, as well as human resource development and training in the field of intellectual property. Dr. Idris pledged WIPO’s continued support for technical cooperation programs to promote the intellectual property infrastructure in Egypt and effective use of the intellectual property system for wealth creation.

In his opening statement to the International Conference on Copyright and Development: From Cultural Diversity to Social Prosperity, organized jointly by WIPO, the Arab Publishers Association (APA) and the International Publishers Association (IPA) held under the patronage of Egypt’s First Lady, Dr. Idris outlined the link between development and intellectual property. The Director General said that the strategic use of intellectual property offers an opportunity for nations and individuals to convert their creative resources into economic assets capable of generating wealth and contributing to a more secure future. A strong national commitment to the intellectual property system ensures the establishment of an environment within which the creative and innovative potential of a country may flourish.

Opening addresses were delivered by H.E Mrs. Suzanne Mubarak, the Minister for Culture H.E Mr. Farouk Hosni and the President of the IPA, Ms. Ana Maria Cabanellas, and the President of the APA, Mr. Ibrahim El Moallem.

The Director General also received an award jointly presented by the Egyptian Publishers Association, the APA and the IPA for his "outstanding contribution" to the world of publishing in the Arab region and worldwide. The award recognized Dr. Idris’ continuing efforts to promote development and progress through the protection and promotion of copyright.

During his two-day visit to Cairo on January 27 & 28, 2007, the Director General, also met with senior government officials, including Mr. Farouk Hosni, Minister for Culture, Mrs. Fayza Abul Naga, Minister for International Cooperation and Dr. Hani Helal, Minister for Higher Education and Scientific Research. In talks, the issues of protection of national cultural heritage, traditional knowledge and folklore were highlighted, as well as a review of cooperation with the Egyptian Government. They agreed on intensifying joint activities to further promote the development and use of the intellectual property system in Egypt. Dr. Idris also held talks with Mr. El Moallem, President of the APA, on promoting the role of copyright for the development of creative industries, in particular the publishing industry, through closer collaboration with the APA.

Dr. Idris also visited the renovated premises of the Egyptian Patent Office and the Center for the Promotion of Invention and Innovation.

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