WIPO Assemblies Open: Director General Outlines Work Impact, Calls on Delegates to Conclude Key Negotiations
July 6, 2023
World Intellectual Property Organization Director General Daren Tang opened the WIPO Assemblies by outlining the Organization’s growing on-the-ground impact, while calling on delegates to continue working together on two proposed new treaties.
Some 1,200 delegates from WIPO’s 193 member states are participating in the Assemblies of the Member States of WIPO, the highest-ever number in WIPO’s history.
In a welcoming address, Mr. Tang updated the forum on progress made by the WIPO Secretariat on implementation of WIPO’s strategic plan endorsed by delegates two years ago to make IP a powerful catalyst for growth and development throughout the world. He cited a new and continued focus on impactful projects that connect intellectual property (IP) with people around the world, as well as to address common global challenges and the SDGs.
Through the meetings, delegates will be working to finalize a work program and associated budget for the Secretariat during the 2024-25 biennium. During that two-year period, delegates are scheduled to meet in a pair of “diplomatic conferences,” or final-stage treaty negotiating rounds, to address two issues: the protection of designs; and IP, genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge.
“Let me take this opportunity to call on member states to demonstrate strong political will to cross the finishing line together – as one WIPO community – on these two important issues, so that we can make a difference to the lives of many people across the world who are looking to us for leadership,” said Mr. Tang.
Mr. Tang, in his address, encouraged delegates to overcome differences where possible to advance a modern, effective and inclusive global IP ecosystem - while showing the world that a diverse group of countries can work together on issues of common concern.
“As the pandemic recedes, new and unprecedented challenges have come to the front. At the same time, there seems to be a deterioration in the multilateral environment in which we collectively operate, and which is so crucial to the resolution of these challenges,” Mr. Tang said.
“I hope that we can together continue to treasure, uphold and support multilateralism. While it is not perfect, I believe I am echoing the view of many when I say that despite its flaws, we have no better way of ensuring that all of our interests are served, protected and advanced,” said Mr. Tang.
Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi joined Mr. Tang in welcoming delegates to the WIPO Assemblies. In an opening address, President Masisi highlighted the importance of IP for developing countries.
“In an increasingly knowledge-driven world, intellectual property (IP) has emerged as a catalyst for innovation, economic growth, and progress. While often viewed through the lens of developed nations, it is imperative that we recognize the significance of IP in the developing world, particularly in Africa,” President Masisi said, noting “Our continent, with its vast potential and youthful population, stands poised to leverage intellectual property rights to foster sustainable development and achieve socio-economic advancement.”
In other activities during the WIPO Assemblies meetings:
- On July 11, WIPO will present the seven winners of the 2023 edition of the Global Awards program, which recognizes exceptional enterprises and individuals using intellectual property to make a positive impact at home and abroad.
- On July 12, stakeholders will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Marrakesh Treaty, which eases the production and international transfer of specially adapted books for people with blindness or visual impairments.
- Throughout the Assemblies, meeting July 6-14, 2023, member states and others will hold events to celebrate culture, technology and the importance of relationships in the world of international collaboration for the common good.
The General Assembly is being chaired by Ambassador Tatiana Molcean, Moldova’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other International Organizations in Geneva.
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is the United Nations agency that serves the world’s innovators and creators, ensuring that their ideas travel safely to the market and improve lives everywhere.
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