WIPO Director General Receives President of 62nd Session of UN General Assembly

Geneva, June 15, 2007
PR/2007/496

The Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Dr. Kamil Idris, met on June 15, 2007 the President of the sixty-second session of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly, Dr. Srgjan Kerim, who previously served as foreign minister of The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Discussions focused on the importance of intellectual property (IP) as a tool for development and wealth creation.
 
Dr. Kerim, a strong supporter of the multilateral system, was elected in May 2007 as President of the UNGA. At that time he pledged to focus the work of that body on substantive issues and to address, in a global and comprehensive manner, the major challenges facing the world today, namely climate change, globalization, terrorism, immigration, sustainable development, and the Millennium Development Goals. One of his priorities is the question of global warming and the opportunities afforded by technological innovation to develop renewable energy and protect the environment. In talks with the Director General, Dr. Kerim acknowledged the important role of IP in encouraging innovation and creativity and called on the Director General to support future efforts within the UN system to address the challenges presented by climate change.
 
With respect to environmental questions, Dr. Idris agreed on the importance of technological innovation in finding solutions to the challenges posed by climate change. “Technological innovation and intellectual property go hand in hand – they are different sides of the same coin,” the Director General said. Given the growing urgency to find creative solutions to safeguard the environment, Dr. Idris pledged WIPO’s continued support, in the context of multilateral efforts, to promote technological innovation. Dr. Idris said IP has an important role within this debate, noting, for example, that through the use of patent landscapes, it is possible to map technology trends and emerging technologies relevant to environmental sustainability.
 
Dr. Idris and Dr. Kerim also discussed the recent visit by the Director General to Skopje, where he met top officials, including President Branko Crvenkovski, and a number of Government ministers and other senior officials. Talks focused on efforts by the government to strengthen the IP infrastructure and the use of IP to promote economic, social and cultural development, as well as the cultural industries and nation branding. Efforts have focused on upgrading and modernizing legislation in the field of IP as well as on strengthening enforcement. WIPO has provided technical assistance in these areas.
 
Dr. Idris later expanded the meeting with Dr. Kerim to include Geneva-based ambassadors from Central, European, Balkan and Baltic states, as well as ambassadors representing the other regional groups.
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