March 9, 2005 | By Donna Wentworth

What You Can Do About WIPO

Brazilian copyright scholar Pedro de Paranaguá Moniz has drafted a public letter arguing for broad reform in the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) -- including putting an end to the procedural blockades the organization has erected to stop public-interest organizations from fully participating in the decisionmaking over WIPO's future.

The letter invites you to sign on so you can have your signature on the letter when it's presented to WIPO. If you support transparency, participation, balance, and access in the WIPO process, we urge you to sign on now:

We demand TRANSPARENCY within WIPO and strongly reject any kind of disproportionate representation.

Yet, we call for an immediate PARTICIPATION of civil society and consumer-interest non-governmental organizations (NGOs) within WIPO's activities. Specifically, but not limited to accepting applications from NGOs to serve as ad hoc observers at the upcoming Inter-sessional Intergovernmental Metting next 11-13 April 2005, and for the Permanent Committee on Cooperation for Development Related to Intellectual Property, next 14-15 April 2005, in order to provide a BALANCED discussion on the Development Agenda and on the IP system in general, observing an equilibrium between IP right holders and consumers.

Furthermore, we urge that WIPO, as a United Nations (U.N.) specialised agency responsible for promoting creative intellectual activity and for facilitating the transfer of technology related to industrial property to the developing countries in order to accelerate economic, social and cultural development, plays its role in making ACCESS to knowledge feasible for humanity, bearing in mind different needs (including, but not limited to, those of the visual and audio impaired) and stages of development.

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