TWN Info Service on UN Sustainable Development (Oct17/04)
9 October 2017
Third World Network

WIPO: Brazil proposes discussion on WIPO’s SDG implementation

Geneva, 9 October (K M Gopakumar) – Brazil has proposed discussion on the activities of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in relation to the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) in various committees of the Organization, especially the Committee on Development and Intellectual Property (CDIP).

Brazil reiterated its proposal for a standing agenda item on SDG in the CDIP when the WIPO General Assembly considered the report of the CDIP.  The 57th Meetings of WIPO Assemblies are taking place from 2 to 11 October in Geneva.

[CDIP was constituted in 2007 to oversee the implementation of WIPO’s Development Agenda. CDIP also has two more pillars: (i) monitor, assess, discuss and report on the implementation of all recommendations adopted, and for that purpose to coordinate with relevant WIPO bodies; and (ii) discuss intellectual property- and development-related issues as agreed by the Committee, as well as those decided by the General Assembly.]

Brazil stated that the decision of CDIP to include a permanent agenda item on intellectual property (IP) and Development “reinforces the need for WIPO to take action regarding its role in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals”. 

It further said that WIPO as a UN specialised agency “should have substantive contribution to the implementation of the SDGs”. It added that, “The mandate of the CDIP naturally brings the topic of the SDGs under its scope, but without prejudice to discussions on the matter in the other WIPO committees. It is also our view that the implementation of the SDGs should be reflected in the Program and Budget of WIPO”.

Since the 18th session of the CDIP (31October to 4 November 2016), Brazil has proposed the inclusion of a standing agenda item on SDGs in CDIP. According to the report of the 18th session of CDIP Brazil “recalled that the mandate of CDIP involved the discussion of IP and development issues, matters which were intricately related to the SDGs. Therefore, [Brazil] requested the Committee to include a permanent agenda item entitled “Implementation of the SDGs” on the Agenda of the CDIP. The SDGs were a long-term plan and the UN [General Assembly] had set 2030 as the deadline for implementing the Goals. Inclusion of the agenda item would enable a comprehensive, periodic and continuous treatment of the subject by giving members the opportunity to discuss the many topics on the SDGs and present their specific proposals. It would also bring an opportunity for WIPO to periodically report to members on its actions regarding the implementation of the SDGs”.

During the 18th and 19th sessions of CDIP Brazil’s proposal was supported by many developing countries including Nigeria on behalf of the Africa Group, China, Indonesia, Uganda, South Africa and India.

The 16th Session of CDIP (9 to 13 November 2015) discussed WIPO and the Post -2015 Development Agenda (CDIP/16/8).  This document stated that SDGs 9 and 17 are “could be linked to the mandate and strategic objectives of WIPO”. Further, it noted the relevance of SDGs 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 12 and 13 to WIPO’s programs and activities, for which WIPO will partner or report as and when requested with other UN agencies and stakeholders in charge of their implementation. The 16th session requested the Secretariat “to provide to its next session, a document that would identify the activities undertaken by WIPO which were related to the SDGs”.

After considering the report of the Secretariat, which contained activities related to SDG 9 and 17, the 17th Session of CDIP (11 to 15 April 2016) made the decision to allow Member States to provide written submissions to the Secretariat with regard to the SDGs they think are relevant for WIPO’s work.  

In its submission Brazil disagreed with the WIPO Secretariat’s approach of restricting WIPO’s engagement to SDGs 9 and 17. Its submission stated: “Brazil understands that it is premature and limiting to specify the activities of the Organization related to the implementation of the SDGs. In our view, all Goals, from 1 to 17, are related to intellectual property, in view of its dissemination and widespread use in contemporary society”. 

Apart from Brazil, China and Uganda in their submissions stressed the need for WIPO to cover other SDGs.  China’s submission reads: “The Delegation of China believes that, in addition to the above-mentioned nine goals, many of the 17 SDGs and 169 targets are related to IP and in particular to the work of WIPO”.

The 18th session decided that the Secretariat should present an annual report to the Committee, at its first session of the year, containing information on WIPO’s contribution to the implementation of the SDGs and its associated targets on: (a) the activities and initiatives undertaken individually by the Organization; (b) the activities undertaken by the Organization as part of the UN System; and (c) the assistance provided by WIPO to Member States upon their request.

After considering the Secretariat’s report at the 19th session of CDIP (15 to 19 May 2017) Member States decided to keep the  “discussions on the way to address SDGs in future CDIP sessions, including the request for establishing a permanent agenda item”.

In its statement at the WIPO Assemblies on CDIP Brazil also stressed the need for WIPO to look beyond SDG 9.  The statement reads: “We are of the opinion that WIPO should not restrict its role to SDG number 9. Frankly, Mr. Chairman, WIPO is too important for that, intellectual property is too vast a subject for that. The importance of innovation is undisputed; indeed, my own country is making important efforts to foster innovation as a key to overcoming the economic crisis but so is the importance of the remaining SDGs, all of them objectives to which WIPO can and must provide relevant inputs. As we have stated before, the integrated approach is the lynchpin of the 2030 Agenda and should lead to a cross-cutting understanding of the significant interlinkages across the 17 SDGs and associated targets.”

Further discussions on the inclusion of implementation of SDGs as a standing agenda will take place during the upcoming 20th Session of CDIP (27 November to 1 December 2017).+

Note: the SDGs are as follows:

Goal 1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere; Goal 2. End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture

Goal 3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages

Goal 4. Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all

Goal 5. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

Goal 6. Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all

Goal 7. Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all

Goal 8. Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all

Goal 9. Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation

Goal 10. Reduce inequality within and among countries

Goal 11. Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

Goal 12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

Goal 13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts*

Goal 14. Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development

Goal 15. Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss

Goal 16. Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels

Goal 17. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development.