Francis Gurry led WIPO as Director General from October 1, 2008 to September 30, 2020.

Ministers share national experiences on innovation, growth and development

Geneva, September 20, 2010

Some 70 ministers from across the globe participating in the high-level segment of the WIPO Assemblies, which opened today, shared their national experiences in relation to the role of intellectual property (IP) in promoting innovation, growth and development, and reaffirmed their commitment to IP in supporting these objectives.  

Opening the meeting, Ambassador Alberto Dumont, Chairman of the WIPO General Assembly and Argentina’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other International Organizations in Geneva, said that “nobody doubted the importance that knowledge and more specifically intellectual property has played throughout human history.” This, he said, was a key factor in “the creation of our cultures and societies” and was influencing the daily lives of all citizens. 

He underlined the need for delegates to work together constructively to find creative solutions to the differences that existed to ensure a balanced evolution of the IP system in support of innovation and creativity.

The central importance of innovation and creativity in promoting wealth creation and in fostering new productive sectors was a recurrent theme in minister’s statements. IP, they said, plays a vital and pivotal role in economic development.

Many spoke of the importance of developing national IP strategies to serve as a roadmap for them to effectively manage their IP assets for growth and development. Ministers underscored the importance of IP in contributing to the search for solutions to the many and varied challenges confronting their countries and the world at large. 

A number of ministers underlined that a balanced IP system is a means of creating a secure environment for investment in creativity and innovation. IP, they said, has a key role to play in contributing to the achievement of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals and to the successful implementation of recommendations under the WIPO Development Agenda. 

Ministers called on WIPO to continue to support efforts to strengthen national and regional IP systems to enable countries to add value to their resources. WIPO’s commitment to reducing the knowledge gap and to narrowing the digital divide through its office automation and database programs were particularly welcome in this regard.

In outlining their respective national IP experiences, ministers pointed to the need to continue to enhance the efficiency of their IP systems, to integrate IP education into school curricula and to promote IP awareness among the general public.

In his opening remarks, WIPO Director General Francis Gurry also highlighted the central importance of IP to innovation, growth and economic development and significant changes in the innovation landscape. World famous singer songwriter Stevie Wonder also addressed the high-level segment and called on the international community to enhance accessibility by visually impaired persons to copyright protected works.

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