WIPO Director General Holds Talks with the Prime Minister of Swaziland

Geneva, April 30, 2007

The Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Dr. Kamil Idris, met with the Prime Minister of Swaziland, His Excellency, Mr. A.T. Dlamini, on Monday April 30, 2007 for talks on the strategic importance of intellectual property in promoting wealth creation, social development and cultural enrichment in Swaziland, as well as cooperation for development activities.

During the talks, Dr. Idris emphasized that efficient use of the intellectual property system is a key element in spurring economic development and affirmed the Organization's commitment to promoting better understanding and use of the intellectual property system in Swaziland and in supporting the development of the country’s national intellectual property system.

The Prime Minister acknowledged the significance of intellectual property as a means of boosting the economic well-being of his country. He emphasized the need to build intellectual property capacity in his country and called on WIPO to further strengthen its collaboration with Swaziland and provide more technical assistance to support national efforts to establish an effective national intellectual property system. In particular, the Prime Minister stressed the importance of intensifying WIPO’s cooperation with Swaziland in the field of human resource development, intellectual property education, collective management of copyright, public awareness, promotion of cultural industries and outreach to small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). Dr. Idris assured the Prime Minister of WIPO’s full support to Swaziland in these and other relevant areas of intellectual property.

During his visit, the Prime Minister and his delegation, which included Mr. Mtiti Fakudze, Minister for Agriculture and Cooperatives, Senator Ms. Thulie Msane, Mrs. Thembayena Annastasia Dlamini, Permanent Representative of Swaziland to the United Nations in Geneva, and other senior officials, were briefed on WIPO's program of activities, particularly in the field of technical assistance and capacity building, copyright and the cultural industries, training programs offered by the WIPO Worldwide Academy, activities relating to traditional knowledge, genetic resources and folklore, enforcement and outreach to small and medium-sized enterprises.

Among the possible joint activities in the coming months, it was agreed that WIPO would organize later this year a forum on intellectual property in Swaziland to enhance understanding of intellectual property among different sectors of society. The requirements of Swaziland for capacity building activities would also be discussed at that time leading to the formulation of a nationally focused action plan. 

Dr. Idris also emphasized the importance of promoting a better understanding of the activities of the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV), through the organization of a seminar. UPOV is an independent intergovernmental organization established in 1961 which provides and promotes an effective system of plant variety protection, with the aim of encouraging the development of new varieties of plants, for the benefit of society. The UPOV Convention provides a sui generis form of IP protection which has been specifically adapted for the process of plant breeding and has been developed with the aim of encouraging breeders to develop new varieties of plants. Dr. Idris is the Secretary General of UPOV.

Swaziland became a member of WIPO in 1988 and is also party to the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, the Berne Convention for Literary and Artistic Works, Patent Cooperation Treaty and the Madrid System for the International Registration of Trademarks.

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