U.S. View on Conclusion of WIPO Development Committee Meeting

Posted by J Matthew Buchanan at July 10, 2006 12:41 PM

U.S. View on Conclusion of WIPO Development Committee Meeting

At the most recent session of the Provisional Committee for Consideration of Proposals Relating to a Development Agenda for WIPO (PCDA), the United States firmly supported, along with a majority of WIPO member states, immediate recommendations to adopt almost half of the 111 proposals being considered by that committee. The United States also joined the majority of members in supporting the PCDA Chairman’s (Paraguayan Ambassador Rigoberto Gauto Vielman) suggestion for a text to reflect the emerging consensus in recommendations to the 2006 WIPO General Assembly. This included a list of concrete proposals to immediately move forward and a recommendation that WIPO continue its consideration of the remaining proposals.

Unfortunately, a small number of countries, including Brazil and Argentina, the originators of proposals to establish a “development agenda” in WIPO, blocked the emerging consensus, and called for a suspension of the meeting rather than continue discussions.

Lois Boland, the head of the US delegation, expressed great disappointment. “We had a real chance to do something positive for the vast majority of WIPO members, particularly lesser developed countries, but this was unfortunately unacceptable to the political agenda of a small group of members,” Ms. Boland stated.

In light of the impasse, the issue may be revisited at the 2006 WIPO General Assemblies without a recommendation from the PCDA. The United States will continue to support expanding and improving WIPO’s ongoing development-related work.

Intellectual property rights are the universal currency of today’s dynamic global innovation economy, a critical vehicle for technology transfer, and an indispensable foundation for the growth and development that are the aspiration of all WIPO members.

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