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TWN Info Service on WTO and Trade Issues (Mar06/2)

7 March 2006
 

Day 5 (Final Day) of WIPO Development Agenda meeting:

Development meeting ends with 111 proposals in 6 clusters


The WIPO meeting on a Development Agenda ended on 24 February evening with an agreement that the next session would discuss six major themes with a total of 111 proposals that have been identified for a Development Agenda for WIPO.

The 111 proposals will be placed under the six clusters: (A) Technical assistance and capacity building; (B) Norm-setting, flexibilities, public policy and public domain; ( C) Technology transfer, information and communication technology and access to knowledge; (D) Assessment, Evaluation and Impact Studies; (E) Institutional matters including mandate and governance; and (F) Other Issues.

According to a summary of the meeting by the Chairperson, the clusters with the proposals will "form the basis for discussions" at the next meeting of the Provisional Committee on Proposals Related to a WIPO Development Agenda (PCDA) to be held on 26-30 June.

Below is a report of the final day of the Development Agenda meeting.


With best wishes
Martin Khor
TWN

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WIPO: Development meeting ends with 111 proposals in 6 clusters

Geneva, 27 Feb 2006:  By Sangeeta Shashikant (TWN)


The WIPO meeting on a Development Agenda ended on 24 February evening with an agreement that the next session would discuss six major themes with a total of 111 proposals that have been identified for a Development Agenda for WIPO.

The 111 proposals will be placed under the six clusters: (A) Technical assistance and capacity building; (B) Norm-setting, flexibilities, public policy and public domain; ( C) Technology transfer, information and communication technology and access to knowledge; (D) Assessment, Evaluation and Impact Studies; (E) Institutional matters including mandate and governance; and (F) Other Issues.

According to a summary of the meeting by the Chairperson, Ambassador Rigoberto Gauto Vielman of Paraguay, the clusters with the proposals will "form the basis for discussions" at the next meeting of the Provisional Committee on Proposals Related to a WIPO Development Agenda (PCDA) to be held on 26-30 June.

He also indicated that he would hold informal consultations with delegations before the June meeting, and if possible, come up with a new document for that meeting.

The first session of the PCDA was held for five working days of last week. The first three days were spent discussing new papers and proposals, while the last days mainly focused on how to structure future work through a clustering of the proposals submitted.

The Summary by the Chair contains an annex, "Proposals by Clusters submitted for a WIPO Development Agenda", which is a list of 45 issues placed under the six themes.

The Group of Friends of Development (GFOD) submitted another paper listing 66 of their proposals, also under the same six categories. [These had not been included in the Chair's annex]. The proposals had been extracted from the Group's three papers.

The two lists will be consolidated, and the document will form the basis for the PCDA's next meeting.

During the meeting Friday, the Chairman said that the list of proposals would be used as a guide to identify measures and proposals that should be recommended to the WIPO General Assembly. He also indicated that if there was consensus during the consultations he would be holding, the proposals could be consolidated and presented by him at the next PCDA session, as a new working document.

He also explained that the proposals by the GFOD were on a separate document as they were submitted late but the proposals would be added on to the list in the Annex.

In an informal discussion with some participants, the Chair gave the view that it would be better for him to hold informal consultations as this would be "easier" to conduct. During these consultations, he would meet with the different delegations to see "what language was acceptable" to all and to discuss procedures for the next PCDA session.

He also indicated that proposals on which there were no consensus may also be sent to the General Assembly, adding that "in this exercise, nothing was definite". He intends to conduct consultations not only with the regional groups but also with the proponents of the WIPO Development Agenda proposals.

The Chair's Draft Summary is a brief and factual report of the week's proceedings. It stated that: "After consultations with the Regional Group coordinators and the Member States/Groups, which had submitted proposals in "actionable and operational form", the Chairman prepared a set of clusters and requested the said Member States/Groups to place their respective proposals in the most appropriate cluster.

"These clusters and proposals are contained in the Annex to this Summary. The Annex will form the basis for discussions at the Second Session of the PCDA, scheduled to be held from June 26 to 30, 2006."

It added that the Draft Report would contain all the interventions made during the current session as well as the Chairman's Summary. The Draft Report will be communicated to Member States by 17 March 2006 and be electronically available to all by the same date. Any comments on the Draft Report are to be sent to the Secretariat by 4 April 2006, and the revised version would be available by 25 April 2006, for adoption at the next PCDA session.

Earlier, the meeting debated a number of significant issues. One issue was whether to identify the source of the proposals (i. e. the country or groups making them) contained in the clusters. The GFOD and several other delegations were in favour of doing so. Argentina Ambassador Alberto Dumont said that having the source identified would make the work of the Secretariat much easier. However, it was eventually agreed that the source of each proposal would not be mentioned.

Another issue was the conduct of the informal consultations, the status of the current list of proposals and any other document that may emerge from the informal consultations.

The Chairman said that the list of proposals is intended to be a working document, and is not binding on Members. If there is agreement, the proposals will be consolidated, as many of them overlap. He added that new ideas arising from consultations would also be drawn up and he would try and obtain consensus on recommendations and suggestions for the next WIPO General Assembly.

Brazil said that the consultations have to be inclusive, having representatives from all sides. It was its understanding that the Annex (which will include the proposals by the GFOD) does not prevent Members from making proposals on recommendations in "action oriented language" to be made at the next General Assembly.

The Chairman clarified that the Annex is the only official document and it is without prejudice to what might happen during the informal consultations. He said that the only decision-making body was the PCDA. If the consultations are successful, he will submit to the next PCDA meeting a suggestion for a new working document. He reassured the plenary that he was going to conduct the consultations in the most transparent manner.

Some feeling of mistrust among delegations was evident during the day's meeting. The numerous proposals of GFOD grated Group B (group of industrialized countries). At the start of the meeting, it expressed surprise that there were two documents and one of the documents lists 66 proposals with the source indicated. It added that the "spirit of cooperation is not shared by all participants in this process".

In a separate statement, Group B stressed that the deadline for submissions of new proposals had passed and that any such proposals should not be part of the list of proposals, implying that there were new proposals in the list of 66 that had been presented by GFOD. Statements of a similar kind were also made by Croatia on behalf of the Central European and Baltic states.

Privately, a delegate from a member country of GFOD said that whatever had been listed was taken from the proposals that had been submitted by the GFOD thus far and there were no new proposals.

The Group B intervention prompted Nigeria on behalf of the Africa Group to caution the meeting that it did not want to see any of the proposals by the GFOD to be "shunted aside or left in abeyance". It added that no proposal should be excluded and it commended the GFOD for producing such a "comprehensive" paper.

Following these interventions, the Chairman indicated that the list could be checked to ensure that no new proposals were added.

 


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