The Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization, Dr. Kamil Idris, welcomed a decision by WIPO member states on Friday, September 28, 2007 to adopt a Development Agenda consisting of a series of recommendations to enhance the development dimension of the Organization’s activities. The recommendations include a set of 45 agreed proposals covering six clusters of activities including Technical Assistance and Capacity Building; Norm-setting, Flexibilities, Public Policy and Public Knowledge; Technology Transfer, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and Access to Knowledge; Assessments, Evaluation and Impact Studies; Institutional Matters including Mandate and Governance.
Dr. Idris said, “This is a historic day for the Organization and its member states. The adoption of the Development Agenda is testimony to the international community’s commitment to promote the evolution of an IP system that addresses the needs and concerns of all countries.” He underlined, “This milestone decision is an important and positive step towards ensuring that the international intellectual property system continues to serve the public good by encouraging and rewarding innovation and creativity in a balanced and effective manner.” The Director General urged member states to maintain the same momentum and political commitment in ensuring the implementation of the proposals that have been endorsed by the General Assembly.
Member states agreed to establish a Committee on Development and Intellectual Property to develop a work-program for implementation of the adopted recommendations. This Committee will monitor, assess, discuss and report on the implementation of all recommendations adopted, by coordinating with relevant WIPO bodies and will discuss IP and development-related issues as agreed by the Committee and decided by the General Assembly. The Committee which will be made up of member states, will be open to all accredited intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, and is expected to hold its first meeting in the first half of 2008. The Committee will report and may make recommendations annually to the General Assembly.
Following a process of informal consultations prior to the General Assembly, in the context of the Provisional Committee on a WIPO Development Agenda (PCDA), member states had identified 19 proposals for immediate implementation. With the approval of the General Assembly, these proposals will now be implemented immediately by WIPO.
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 in 2005 in which eight papers containing wide-ranging proposals were presented. 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. In order to accelerate and complete discussions on proposals submitted, the 2005 session of the WIPO General Assembly, agreed to establish a Provisional Committee on Proposals for a WIPO Development Agenda (PCDA).
The PCDA met on two occasions in 2006 and 111 proposals were submitted for consideration. The 2006 session of the General Assembly renewed the mandate of the PCDA for an additional year in order to streamline the process for detailed examination of all proposals in an inclusive manner and to narrow down the proposals to eliminate duplication. It was further decided at that time that the PCDA would report to the 2007 General Assembly with recommendations for action on the agreed proposals, and on a framework for continuing to address, and where possible to move forward, on the other proposals following the 2007 General Assembly. During the year 2007, two session of the PCDA were held, during which member states, inter alia, agreed on a set of 45 proposals and recommended the establishment of the Committee on Development and Intellectual Property.