Candidates for Post of WIPO Director General Present their Platforms

Geneva, April 14, 2008

The fifteen candidates for the post of Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) met with representatives of member states on April 14, 2008, each outlining his or her respective platform and responding to pre-submitted questions from the different regional groups. The Chairperson of the Coordination Committee - following informal consultations last month with representatives of the 83 member body that will nominate a candidate in May for appointment to this position by the WIPO General Assembly in September 2008 - decided on arrangements for the one day informal meeting to give an opportunity for candidates to present themselves and respond to questions. 

The Chairperson of the Coordination Committee, Mrs. Hilde Skorpen, sent an invitation letter to member states on March 18, 2008, convening the meeting “on a purely informal and voluntary basis.” All fifteen candidates responded positively to the invitation. It was agreed that 25 minutes would be allotted for each candidate to make presentations and respond to questions from the member states. Each candidate would manage his or her time allotment between presentation and questions and answers. The Chairperson said that “the meeting will be with one candidate at a time, and without any of the other candidates present.” 

The meeting began at 09:00 and ended at 18:45. The first candidate was chosen randomly and alphabetical order followed. The questions were formulated by member states – three from each regional group – and submitted to candidates in advance. The questions posed to each candidate were selected by the Chairperson at random during the meeting. In addition, most candidates provided a written presentation (not exceeding three pages) in advance of the meeting.  

The order by which the candidates appeared was: Mr. Francis Gurry (Australia), Mr. Masood Khan (Pakistan), Mr. Enrique A. Manalo (Philippines), Mr. Mauro Masi (Italy), Mr. James Otieno Odek (Kenya), Mr. Philippe Petit (France), Mr. Bojan Pretnar (Slovenia), Mr. Boris Simonov (Russian Federation), Mr. Yoshiyuki Takagi (Japan), Mr. José Delmer Urbizo (Honduras), Mrs. Alicia Adamczak (Poland), Mr. Toufiq Ali (Bangladesh), Mr. Jorge Amigo (Mexico), Mr. Gjorgji Filipov (The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia), and Mr. José Graça Aranha (Brazil).

The process of electing a Director General is governed by the Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization and “The Procedures for the Nomination and Appointment of Directors General of WIPO,” adopted by the General Assembly of WIPO in September 1998.    The Coordination Committee is scheduled to meet on May 13 and 14, 2008 (discussions are ongoing among members of the Coordination Committee on whether to allow an extra day, May 15, as well) to nominate a candidate for appointment to this position by the WIPO General Assembly, which is scheduled from September 22 to 30, 2008.

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