Ministerial Segment Endorses WIPO’s Engagement with Global Challenges

Geneva, September 23, 2009

Government ministers participating in the first-ever High Level Segment of the Assemblies of the member states of WIPO on September 22 and 23, 2009, endorsed WIPO’s progress toward its strategic goals, which they said marked a new era for the Organization and its ability to ensure that the intellectual property (IP) system helps meet an increasing number of global challenges.  They emphasized that IP is now widely perceived as a key policy tool to promote public interest, innovation and technological progress. 

The more than 40 ministers attending the High Level Segment shared the view that IP is a driving force in creating a positive environment for social, economic and cultural development.  Ministers welcomed the Organization’s commitment to delivering effective services under the Development Agenda and WIPO’s capacity building programs in general.  

The meeting provided an opportunity for ministers to exchange experiences, share concerns and to express their respective national IP priorities. It was also recognized as an important means of raising the profile of IP issues within senior policy making spheres at both the national and international levels.  

At the opening of the High Level Segment, WIPO Director General Francis Gurry called on member states to work together to ensure that the IP system serves as a stimulus for developing solutions to the global challenges confronting policy makers across the world. Many countries underlined the need for continued support in promoting innovation, technology transfer and IP public awareness to boost technological development and commerce, and to support the search for solutions to emerging problems.  

The need to find solutions to overcome the blockages in the Organization’s normative agenda was widely expressed. In this context, many ministers called for the renewal of the mandate of the Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore (IGC) in a way that allows for concrete outcomes.    

Ministers commended Mr. Gurry’s leadership of the Organization and the progress made in the renewal and strategic realignment of operations.  They welcomed the Organization’s response to the challenges confronting the IP system and its engagement in global issues, including climate change, food security, public health and technology transfer. 

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