Member States Agree to Continue Discussions on Development

Geneva, October 4, 2005
Press Releases PR/2005/425

Member states of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), agreed today to continue efforts to enhance the development dimension in all of the Organization's work and to build on the results of a process launched last autumn. The WIPO General Assembly, meeting in Geneva from September 26 to October 5, 2005, agreed to establish a provisional committee to accelerate and complete discussions on proposals relating to a WIPO development agenda.

A proposal for a development agenda for WIPO was first launched by Argentina and Brazil, and supported by an additional 12 developing countries, at the 2004 WIPO General Assembly. At that time, member states agreed to hold a series of inter-sessional intergovernmental meetings (IIMs) to examine proposals originally submitted by Brazil and Argentina as well as additional proposals of other member states. Accordingly, three sessions of the IIM on a Development Agenda for WIPO were organized earlier this year in which a total number of eight proposals were presented by member states. As part of that decision, WIPO also hosted an international seminar on intellectual property and development, which was open to all stakeholders, including NGOs, civil society and academia, in May 2005.

During the deliberations of the 2005 General Assembly there was unanimous agreement on the importance of development. There were, however, divergent views on the best way to move the process forward, with some preferring a continuation of the process through the IIMs, while others favored talks moving to the Permanent Committee on Cooperation for Development relating to Intellectual Property (PCIPD) which was established in 1999 to deal with matters relating to cooperation for development with member states. Member states finally agreed "to constitute a provisional committee to take forward the IIM process to accelerate and complete the discussions on proposals relating to a WIPO Development Agenda and report with any recommendations to the General Assembly at its September 2006 session."

Member states agreed that the work of the provisional committee "shall not prejudice the activities of the other WIPO bodies in discussing all matters relevant to development." Also, the General Assembly decided that "in the interim and without prejudice to the provision of technical assistance, the PCIPD will cease to exist."

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