WIPO and ASEAN Review Joint Cooperation

Geneva, September 20, 2007

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) have reviewed joint cooperation activities over the past year and explored further possibilities in enhancing the capacity of member nations to better exploit the intellectual property (IP) system for economic, social and cultural development. This came at the XIIth meeting of the WIPO – ASEAN Cooperation Program in the field of Intellectual Property, held on September 19, 2007. The Director General, Dr. Kamil Idris, led the WIPO delegation and Ambassador Karen Tan, Permanent Representative to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Permanent Mission of the Republic of Singapore, Geneva, led the ASEAN delegation, in her capacity as current Chair of the ASEAN Geneva Committee (AGC).
WIPO and ASEAN formalized their cooperation in 1993 by establishing a consultation mechanism for cooperation in the field of IP. This mechanism provides for regular dialogue between WIPO and the AGC which includes ASEAN ambassadors and other senior officials in Geneva.  Together with WIPO’s regular participation in the ASEAN Working Group on Intellectual Property Cooperation (AWGIPC), this consultation process has been a strong influence in shaping the nature and scope of cooperation between WIPO and ASEAN. 
Dr. Idris said that these annual consultations were an effective and invaluable means of developing initiatives to boost the effective use of the IP system in accordance with the development objectives of countries in the ASEAN region. He took the opportunity to highlight a number of milestones in WIPO-ASEAN cooperation which had been achieved in the last 12 months.   
Ambassador Tan said that the meeting had enabled a constructive and fruitful dialogue and thanked WIPO for facilitating the meeting and for its long-standing support in promoting IP systems in the ASEAN region.
The meeting endorsed priority areas identified by the AWGIPC, for WIPO’s continued assistance, namely, IP administration, IP and public policy issues, IP awareness and education, enforcement of IPRs and studies and surveys on issues of particular interest to ASEAN. The meeting also emphasized the importance of WIPO’s support and cooperation in achieving the objectives of the ASEAN IPR Action Plan 2004-2010.
The XIIth WIPO-AGC consultation acknowledged that WIPO‑ASEAN cooperation has generated a number of practical activities to enhance IP capacity and support economic, social and cultural development, both at national and sub-regional levels.  The usefulness of this annual event was further emphasized as it provided an opportunity to fine-tune policy directions.
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