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Language Policy adopted by the General Assembly of WIPO, September 2010

Download PDF, Assemblies 2010, Master Decision

The General Assembly:

(i) took note with appreciation of the information contained in document WO/PBC/15/9 as a positive step towards the establishment of a policy on languages at WIPO;

(ii) requested the Secretariat to increase the share of outsourced translation, in particular to developing regions/countries, in accordance with WIPO procurement rules, and take necessary measures to ascertain that the quality of the outsourced translation is up to standard, and submit to the next session of the PBC information on the savings that may be derived from such increased outsourcing;

(iii) requested the Secretariat to establish rigorous criteria with respect to outsourcing options;

(iv) welcomed the initiatives taken by the Secretariat to introduce electronic recording of conference proceedings and, progressively, webcasting thereof on the WIPO website, and requested that this be extended to all official meetings of WIPO;

(v) recognizing that more concise working documents would facilitate deliberations, approved the proposal made by the Secretariat to further reduce the average length of the working documents, on the understanding, however, that such further reduction would not be a statutory requirement but an indication of principle, and that while quality of information should be ensured, it would not apply to documents submitted to the Secretariat by Member States;

(vi) adopted the proposal made by the Secretariat in paragraphs 40 and 41 of document WO/PBC/15/9 (whereby exceptionally voluminous documents and support papers (studies, surveys) that may be commissioned by certain Committees will be made available only in the original languages, with a summary to be prepared by the Secretariat in all six languages) on the understanding, however, that if a Member State or a group of Member States were to express specific interest in one of such documents, the Secretariat would translate its full text in the required language;

(vii) noted with appreciation that through immediate implementation of the provisions of (v) and (vi) above, the Secretariat will be able to extend language coverage to all six official languages of the UN (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish) for documentation of the SCCR and SCT as from January 1, 2011. It is understood that, as a first stage, the implementation of the extended six language coverage to other WIPO Committees, as defined in document WO/PBC/15/9, is proposed to begin as of 2012. If resource adjustments are required by the introduction of the new policy, these will be factored into the draft Program and Budget for 2012/13 after consideration by the PBC;

(viii) noted that the resource adjustments for beginning implementation, as of 2012, of the extended language coverage to WIPO Committees, as defined in (vii) above and in document WO/PBC/15/9, as well as to Working Groups, shall be discussed in the context of the Program and Budget process for 2012/13. In order to facilitate the discussions under this process, the Secretariat shall, as a first step, provide detailed information on current resources under Program 27 by November 25, 2010. The Chair or Vice-Chair of the PBC shall convene, within this process, a dedicated half-day informal consultation in conjunction with the extraordinary session of the PBC in January 2011 with a view to having a clear understanding of the cost implications as a result of the introduction of the new policy. Based on the financial information provided by the Secretariat, a decision concerning the extended language coverage for the Working Groups shall be taken at the next formal session of the PBC in 2011;

(ix) decided that the progress made in the implementation of the new policy, and follow-up on the 2000 decision of the Assemblies of the Member States of WIPO (paragraph 14 of document WO/PBC/15/9 refers), will be discussed at the next formal session of the PBC in 2011, with a view to making recommendations thereon to the September 2011 WIPO General Assembly;

(x) noted that the extension of language coverage in the WIPO Committees would be reflected in the language section of the rules of procedure of the respective WIPO Committees.