WIPO Director General Receives Honorary Degree from University of Khartoum

Geneva, April 30, 2007

The Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Dr. Kamil Idris, received on April 28, 2007 an Honorary Doctorate of Law degree from Sudan’s leading academic institution, the University of Khartoum, for his outstanding contribution to the promotion of intellectual property as a tool for development and in recognition of dedicated service to his country, Sudan. The degree was presented to the Director General by Mr. Ali Osman Mohamad Taha, Vice President of the Republic of Sudan, in the presence of a number of ministers, including the Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Mr. Peter Niyot Kot, and other top Government and University officials, foreign diplomats and students.

In presenting the degree, Mr. Taha highlighted Dr. Idris’ achievements at both national and international levels - during his tenure as Director General of WIPO since 1997, and previously as an international civil servant, as well as the years of dedicated service to his country. Mr. Taha underlined the notable advances that Sudan had made in recent years in promoting the use of intellectual property for economic, social and cultural development in recent years.

In a statement at the ceremony, Professor Mohamed Ahmed El-Sheikh, Vice Chancellor of the University of Khartoum, commended the valuable contribution made by Dr. Idris in promoting intellectual property as a tool for development. He lauded the Director General’s support for activities to strengthen the intellectual property institutions and mechanisms in the country and to enhance the teaching of intellectual property at universities in the Sudan.

Dr. Idris expressed his gratitude for the honor conferred upon him by the University of Khartoum. The Director General praised the role played by the University in ascertaining national identity, promoting research and development and adapting modern technology for the service of Sudanese society. He evoked the role of intellectual property in promoting development and technology transfer. Dr. Idris said Sudan had demonstrated a national commitment to the intellectual property system and to enforcement, noting this ensured the formation of an environment within which the creative and innovative potential of the country could flourish.

The roots of the University of Khartoum date back to 1898. Having undergone a number of transformations, it was formally established by governmental decree in 1956. As Sudan’s leading academic institution, the University enjoys a student population of over 23,000 with more than 1,000 academic staff. The University of Khartoum and WIPO signed a cooperation agreement in 2006 to enhance the quality of intellectual property education and research in the Sudan.

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