TWN Info Service on WTO and Trade Issues (Oct07/07)
10 October 2007
After 3 years of often tense deliberations, the WIPO General Assembly agreed to establish a Committee on Development and Intellectual Property (CDIP) and to adopt 45 proposals for action to mainstream development into WIPO activities.
Of the 45 proposals adopted, 19 have been identified as "early implementation proposals" to be implemented immediately by WIPO.
The WIPO decision, adopted on 28 September, was a milestone in the "Development Agenda initiative" spearheaded by a group of developing countries.
Below is a report which was published in the SUNS on 2 October. It is reproduced here with the permission of the South North Development Monitor (SUNS). Any reproduction or re-circulation requires the prior permission of SUNS (email@example.com).
General Assembly adopts Development Agenda proposals
After 3 years of extensive and often tense deliberations, the WIPO General Assemblies (GA) has agreed to establish a Committee on Development and Intellectual Property (CDIP) and to adopt 45 proposals for action to mainstream development into WIPO activities.
Of the 45 proposals adopted, 19 have been identified as "early implementation proposals" to be implemented immediately by WIPO after the approval by the General Assemblies. All the proposals are in the WIPO document A/43/13 Rev. dated 17 September 2007.
WIPO decision, adopted last Friday, was a milestone in the "Development
Agenda initiative" spearheaded by a group of developing countries
known as Group of Friends of Development (coordinated by
It also added that implementation should improve the institutional capacity of developing countries and should cover all aspects of drawing up norms, and that the implementation of the recommendations should be done in a horizontal way.
The decision was achieved after several often stormy meetings at the levels of the General Assemblies or inter-sessional meetings and committees.
was significant resistance by the developed countries and the WIPO Secretariat
when the WIPO Development Agenda was first launched in the 2004 General
Assemblies by the Group of Friends of Development (GFOD), led by
The resistance by developed countries continued in the three Inter-sessional Intergovernmental Meetings (IIM) held in 2005 to discuss WIPO DA, where there were attempts to dilute the content of the Development Agenda to merely the provision of technical assistance.
The IIM was replaced by the Provisional Committee on Proposals Related to a WIPO Development Agenda (PCDA) at the 2005 GA. The PCDA reduced the number of proposals under the Development Agenda (DA) to 111, divided into 6 clusters: (A) Technical assistance and capacity building; (B) Norm setting, flexibilities, public policy and public domain; ( C) Technology transfer, Information and Communication Technologies and access to knowledge; (D) Assessment, Evaluation and impact studies; (E) Institutional matters including mandate and governance; and (F) Other issues.
These proposals were negotiated on at the PCDA meetings held in February and June this year, leading to the adoption by consensus of 45 proposals.
a pressing briefing,
He added that there are broad avenues for reform - of WIPO's working methods, technical assistance, etc. There are substantive issues that require deep examination, such as rules that govern IP in the context of development and the changing world.
He agreed that the DA may have an impact on other institutions where issues of IP and development were being discussed.
Mr. Guilherme Patriota of the Brazilian Mission said that a distinction had to be made between guidelines, principles and proposals of a practical nature. On technical assistance, many recommendations give clear guidelines to WIPO.
He also mentioned that the DA recommendations had given WIPO the mandate to deal with issues such as Access to Knowledge and alternative licensing methods which previously the organization had not been confident to deal with as it felt that it had no mandate. He added: "This is the beginning".
The DA deals with development not only from a North-South perspective but it affects many other issues that are being debated in the developed countries. He also stressed the need to conduct impact assessment and in this context to work on economic analysis.
According to the GA decision, the CDIP (which is to be established immediately following the GA) is to (i) develop a work program for implementation of the adopted recommendations; (ii) monitor, assess, discuss and report on the implementation of all recommendations adopted, and for that purpose it shall coordinate with relevant WIPO bodies; and (iii) discuss IP and development related issues as agreed by the Committee, as well as those decided by the General Assembly.
The GA also decided that the CDIP will meet twice a year, with its first meeting in the first half of 2008.
was also agreed that Ambassador Trevor Clarke of
The CDIP will report and may make recommendations annually to the General Assembly. The Permanent Committee on IP and Development (PCIPD), that used to discuss technical assistance issues, shall cease to exist.
At the plenary session, in introducing the early implementation proposals, Ambassador Trevor Clarke (who chaired the last two sessions of the PCDA that agreed to the 45 proposals) said that during both sessions, member states "engaged in constructive negotiations" and "their spirit of cooperation and compromise lies at the heart of the results."
On the 19 early implementation proposals agreed to, Ambassador Clarke said that he had held informal consultations to identify proposals which could be implemented immediately by WIPO.
Ambassador Clarke also stated the broad guidelines followed in identifying the early implementation proposals, which are as follows: WIPO is already implementing related activities, which could be appropriately modified/strengthened to meet with specific concern; it is not necessary to develop a detailed work program before initiating implementation; the proposal does not require additional human or financial resources at this stage.
During the consultations, the Member States agreed to the 19 proposals. Such agreement does not imply that these proposals have been accorded higher priority than the others. Clarke called on all member states, the Secretariat and other relevant WIPO bodies to ensure the immediate and effective implementation of these 19 proposals.
Many other developing countries supported the adoption of the 45 proposals and the establishment of the CDIP. They also stressed the need for sufficient resources to be allocated for the proper implementation of these proposals.