The Development Agenda is the most contentious issue WIPO has ever considered. So it's pretty surprising to hear the Chair describe a "wide majority, a significant majority" of opinion on just about anything. But that's what he said about the push to keep the agenda at the center of WIPO's work. While the vast majority of countries want to continue tackling the DA in a high-level meeting process known as the IIM, holdouts like the United States and Japan are still pushing to bury discussions in a nebulous committee that hasn't met for years. We won't know the results of this jockeying until Monday or Tuesday, but we'll report here as soon as we do.
And in a rare show of unanimity, the fight to admit more non-government organizations (NGOs) to WIPO was won on Thursday (scroll to the bottom of this page for background)! The assembly's final act of the day was passing Agenda Item 23, which accepted all pending applications from NGOs. Mighty is my w00t!
(Notes after the jump.)
**WIPO General Assembly: Day 4**
September 29, 2005 (Thursday)
Thiru Balasubramaniam, thiru at cptech.org, Consumer Project on Technology
Ren Bucholz, ren at eff.org, Electronic Frontier Foundation
Teresa Hackett, teresa.hackett at eifl.net, Electronic Information for Libraries
[NOTE: This is not an official transcript. Any errors and ommissions are regretted.]
Copyright-Only Dedication (based on United States law)
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10:55 AM (Start).
[RB: The discussion of the Development Agenda started later in the morning. Click here to jump directly to that section. The afternoon was occupied primarily with discussion of the Standing Committee on Patents, and that discussion can be found here.]
Chair (Ambassador Enrique A. Manalo. Permanent Representative of the Philippines): I would like to give the floor to the WIPO Secretariat in order to make an announcement on new WIPO officers.
Secretariat (Edward Kwakwa): Could I please draw your attention to document "A/41/INF/4"
I wish to simply read the names of the new officers, and to save time, I will refrain from reading the names of all 60 officers.
Chair of General Assembly
Enrique MANOLO (Philippines)
Zigrids AUMEISTERS (Latvia)
Usman SARKI (Nigeria)
Rigoberto GAUTO VIELMAN (Paraguay)
Guilherme de AGUIAR PATRIOTA (Brazil)
M'hamed SIDI EL KHIR (Morocco)
WIPO Coordination Committee
Love Mtesa (Zambia)
Peter Li-Feng Schrock (Germany)
Maximiliano Santa Cruz (Chile)
Chair: We conclude agenda item 3. The Director-General is present today and would like to comment on agenda item 4.
Secretariat (Director-General Idris): Thanks people for thanking him, then dedicates those thanks to his staff.
Over the last year, he was struck by the amazing upswing in use of IP in many DCs and LDCs. Double-digit growth on a variety of axes illustrates the importance of comprehensively formulated IP systems.
WIPO remains more committed than ever to supporting LDCs to strengthen their regional and national IP systems, policies, and their accompanying action plans. He is fully conscious of the aspirations of LDCs regarding public policy space, especially where it relates to health, education, food, security, living conditions, employment and the elimination of poverty. WIPO will continue to pursue these concerns in its development program.
Finally, takes note and welcome the offer of the gov't of Japan to host a WIPO Japan office. If he understands, this office would be dedicated to research-based output. We have an excellent atmosphere of negotiations.
Welcomes the fact that this initiative won't have any financial implications for this organization.
[TB: I believe he is responding to the general statements made by Member States, intergovernmental organizations and NGOs in the plenary on Monday and Tuesday. ]
Chair: Thanks DG for his remarks. We now revert to our consideration of Agenda item 13 [RB: Agenda Item 13 = the Development Agenda].
Malaysia: Would like to commend WIPO on its good work in conducting 3 IIMs so far. We view IIM as a venue for constructive discussions for all Member States.
Since the proposal for the African Group has still to be discussed. In order to hold a fair and balanced review, this and other proposals should be tabled and discussed at the same venue.
Malaysia believes that the IIM's mandate should be extended for another 3 meetings, if necessary, in an effort to produce recommendations for the next GA.
[TB: Malaysia supports renewing the mandate]
Japan: This delegation is happy to continue discussion on this important item. We believe that this discussion should continued in a permanent body.
We would like you to recall that the IIM was a compromise. The IIM is not a permanent body; it is an ad hoc body.
In the PCIPD, we understood that the mandate of the PCIPD is flexible enough to cover the development agenda. We believe that discussions of the development agenda should continue in PCIPD.
This delegation is of the view that, even if we discuss proposals in the PCIPD instead of an IIM, that it would still be equitable to pending proposals.
[TB: Japan does NOT support renewal of IIM process-supports shunting the discussions into the PCIPD]
Kenya: It is widely acknowledged that development is the greatest challenge to international community today. Just a few days ago, world leaders met in NY to assess progress towards the Millennium Goals. WIPO has a great deal to contribute with regard to the delivery of the MDGs.
IP must not be mixed up with technical assistance.
Kenya supports the establishment of a WIPO Development Agenda with a clear mandate and monitoring systems. We believe the Friends of Development proposal is a good basis. Matters should be handled by IIM, not PCIPD. While we would welcome an expansion of PCIPD as well, we think that IIM is the best place to continue this discussion.
WIPO DA is not about just expanding the scope of rights, but is more like a human right with social goals.
Benin: The WIPO DA is of crucial importance to our group (LDCs).
The IIM process must be maintained in 2006 to consider the proposal by the African Group amongst others. We support the statement made yesterday by Morocco on behalf of the African Group.
Relief of poverty is a vital concern, and we thank the countries here who have stood in solidarity with us.
Bahrain: We have specific social and economic needs in our country. Because of the increasingly important role of IP in general, we need to increase advocacy and awareness building programmes for IP. This will help improve living standards. We hope that WIPO can help us to keep up with the pace of technological development.
On the proposals that have been put on the table, we believe it's important to find a good formula for dealing with them.
Pakistan: It has been a year since the need for a DA was first discussed at last year's GA. The last WIPO assembly authorized more focused discussion on the DA based on the Friends of Development proposal. As mandated by the Assembly, it was taken up by three IIM meetings. We have not only travelled some distance on this road, we have a roadmap to chart our course.
Globalisation has enhanced the importance of the development orientation of the IP system. WIPO as a member of the UN family has an unambiguous responsibility to fully integrate the development dimension.
It is not the mandate, but the mindset that needs to be tuned for a certain development quotient in all of WIPO's activities. We have drawn attention to three clusters of concerns.
1) Affordability of essential products including pharmaceuticals, textbooks, educational software.
2) The misappropriation of traditional knowledge and genetic resources.
3) Increasing restrictive effects of IP on access to technology and ability of developing countries to innovate.
These concerns lead us to what the Director General pointed out in his opening remarks. It is important to create a policy space that codifies exceptions and limitations that already exist, and fosters their growth where they do not. We must create a results-oriented development agenda for WIPO. We need a balance between IP rights and the public interest.
The way the IP system affects developing countries at different levels must be examined. We need to have a standing group that assesses the impacts of IP in myriad contexts. This could even be launched as we discuss the DA, as it would only improve our decisions.
The IIM process was mandated to examine the FOD proposal and others to make the necessary recommendations to the GA. It is unfortunate to note that most discussion took place on procedure. The IIM process could not even achieve a first reading of the all the proposals in their entirety.
However, it is encouraging that proposals continued to be placed before the IIM. We are confidant that WIPO has the intellectual reserves to meet this challenge.
This brings us to either renewal of the IIM process or shifting to the PCIPD. We believe that this Assembly should renew the mandate for the following reasons:
1) The last Assembly charged the IIM and that duty has not been fully discharged. Equity for all pending proposals requires that the IIM be continued.
2) It is evident that the issues raised will cut across the whole range of WIPO activities.
3) Despite a slow start, the IIM process acquired a momentum that must not be lost to yet another procedural debate.
4) The IIM process has evolved into a setting where the differing aspects of the DA could be discussed in an integrated manner.
We would like to conclude that a DA for WIPO is a milestone for this organization and it is our collective responsibility to ensure that high standards of equity and fair play be maintained in these discussions.
South Africa: We recognize the fact that new proposals have been tabled, including the African Group, and that the IIM mandate should be extended.
We understood development to cover the following issues:
1. Public health and intellectual property. The work of the World Health Organization through the Commission on IP Rights and Health (CIPIH) is important in this regard. We are tackling these problems in South Africa through compulsory licensing and parallel importations.
2. The CBD work is related to development including genetic resources, benefit sharing and disclosure.
3. Access to educational learning materials and information. Maybe the Berne Appendix should be incorporated into national legislation.
South Africa is of the view that intellectual property is cross-cutting nature means that it should not be the domain of one national department or of one international organization.
We must approach IP in a collective manner. The UN agencies are also coming to grips with the DA. Other bodies e.g. WTO has exactly identified that there is a problem. The Doha Declaration is a good example.
These issues do not form part of the work of the PCIPD. We doubt that the PCIPD has the necessary expertise to deal with this issue. WIPO itself should rise to address this agenda.
It is also hoped that bilateral trade negotiations shall not undermine flexibilities provided for in the TRIPS agreement. I hope South Africa is not asking the impossible from WIPO. Please extend the mandate of the IIM.
Jamaica: Yields to Minister of Justice from Antigua and Barbuda.
Antigua & Barbuda (Speaking on behalf of Caribbean delegates): A DA for WIPO will contribute to the strengthening of the organization's already significant contribution to development. It is therefore quite logical that the mandate of the IIM should be extended to the next GA to allow for further time for engagement with the issues. It would be premature to end discussions and support the recommendation that further IIMs be convened and that it should report to the GA.
Cuba: We fully support the statement of Argentina made on behalf of our delegation. We must implement the development dimension into all aspects of the organization's work.
We must analyze the proposals in a proactive way. We must have an IP system that takes into account the needs of developing countries and public policies.
Cameroon: We would like to associate ourselves with the statement of Morocco. DA is of immense importance to our countries, as has been stated by others. No concrete conclusions have emerged from the IIMs, and so we question whether its mandate has been exhausted.
Our observation is as follows: the IIM has already built a focus on this item, and we believe that this focus should be sustained.
The African Group is still to table its proposal. Another advantage is that the IIM has the character of an ad hoc structure, which is usually more expeditious than a permanent body. Also, some of the important concerns mentioned by South Africa cannot be dealt with by the PCIPD.
Egypt: We associate ourselves with the statements made by Argentina (GFoD) and Morocco (African Group)
We believe that the national IP system should be implemented in a way beneficial to development. We've therefore become active in things like the African Group proposal to the DA. This proposal has clearly reflected the group's endeavor to translate this into concrete results.
We view the outcome of the IIM as a concrete step towards our goals. However they were unable to fully address the proposals of member states during the three meetings allotted. There has been a clear consensus to continue these discussions. We join the clear majority of member states in calling for a continuation of the IIM.
It is important to understand that we do not mean to make the IIM a permanent process - as that would simply undermine the urgency of the DA - but rather to integrate the development dimension in WIPO activities.
Let me remind you of the call of the leaders of 77 countries of the importance of development.
By integrating the DA into its work, WIPO would send a clear message to DCs and LDCs that their concerns are being addressed.
Paraguay: We attach a great deal of importance to the development agenda. IP needs to be an increasingly general tool to contribute to countries' prosperity.
I had the pleasure to chair the IIM meetings. I sensed the genuine interest and commitment of delegations proceeding on the issues, even though we spent a lot of time on procedural issues.
Our delegation believes that besides the importance of this issue, that the mechanism chosen by last year's Assembly was appropriate. The number of proposals submitted backs up this judgment. It is most logical and simple to ask for a number of similar meetings to continue.
We would like delegations who have reservation in this regard to have the flexibility to hold further IIMs to move forward with addressing proposals that haven't yet been addressed. the appropriateness of moving forward
Chair: We have 7-8 more speakers on this item. I would remind delegations to adhere to the 5 minute time limit.
Algeria: We support the statement made by the African group.
We are in the process of comprehensive reform of the UN system, and the foundation is that development must be addressed holistically. As a specialized agency of the UN, WIPO must be involved. IP is a key aspect of the DA. Our Chinese colleague pointed out the benefits of IP for development. What is true in China, can be true in any of our countries. The question is not whether to set up a body, but first to identify objectives. There is agreement on a need for a DA.
My delegation believes that, at this stage, we need to study all of the proposals. The IIM was set up by the GA, but it has not yet finished its mission. It shouldn't be stopped in the middle of its mandate.
Jordan: Jordan has joined proposal sponsored by Bahrain. In our view, this represents a balanced programme of action. Other proposals submitted are worthy of attention and interest. We hope to reach a consensus on the content of the proposals, notwithstanding the name of the body.
India: We support the mechanism of IIM created by 2004 Assembly. To our mind, the 3 IIM's have provided a good forum for both developing and developed countries to make the mind of WIPO more focused on the tasks of development. Our remaining tasks are to identify the aspects of each proposal that we want to act on, and to craft recommendations for the GA.
The suggestion to move the DA to the PCIPD would restrict the scope of the interaction and would not serve the purpose as this forum is mainly for technical assistance.
By proposing the renewal of the IIM mandate we don't want to give the impression that we want to micro-manage WIPO's work or stall any reforms. I plead to you to let the IIM process continue. I find it imperative to do so. Otherwise we might send the wrong signals to the world that we are more interested in promoting IP than promoting public policy goals.
Thailand: The mainstreaming of development issues into all aspects of WIPO is a key task. We therefore support the extension of the IIM mandate into 2006.
Colombia: The IIM has been a useful intergovernmental exercise. The interesting discussions on development and IP, and the firm commitment of members states, has led to more than 27 constructive proposals for member states. Several countries have indicated that they will submit new proposals and Colombia is in the process of drafting a new proposal. Other proposals of equal importance have not been discussed due to lack of time. It is quite clear that we need to continue this process.
A new mandate from this Assembly should have two clear aims:
1) To continue discussing and analysing the existing proposals, and all the new ones that come along.
2) Under its mandate, the IIM could make recommendations and submit it to the 2006 General Assembly and have it take a decision on these recommendations.
From that point, the process will have been completed with actions and proposals that complement WIPO's role.
Afghanistan: IP is an essential aspect of the development process.
My delegation supports the DA in WIPO. However, we feel this should not be an additional work but should transcend all aspects of WIPO's work as it underlying all IP categories e.g. patents, copyright.
We are of the view that WIPO is the place where these discussions should take place. We believe that the work of the IIM should continue, and that we should set certain targets. We support the statement made by Argentina.
Peru: We support the statement of Argentina (GFoD) and Mexico (GRULAC)
The differences between developed and developing countries are immense in terms of IP. Exports from the developed countries have a high IP-component value, and therefore their citizens benefit greatly when rights are expanded. The countries with less technical capacity seek differential treatment, so that they might develop. We therefore focus on places that we have strength: manufacturing, biodiversity, folklore, handicrafts need preferential treatment by the Assembly. We should not focus just on broadcasting, software and other areas where developed countries have strength.
With regard to the appropriate forum to seek consensus, we believe that the IIM should continue its work. The impatience shown by some countries should not be used to argue for the IIM's deactivation.
The IIM is doing good work and it could very well continue the mandate given to it by this Assembly.
Sudan: Recognition that there are vast differences between the IP/technical capacity of developed/developing countries. I quite agree with the statement by the African Group and am in favour of extending the mandate of the IIM.
Uruguay: We support the FoD statement. To achieve a balance between the producers of knowledge and the users of knowledge, there should be a development dimension. Uruguay considers it necessary to promote and protect the public domain and other commitments by our countries of the MDGs. It is appropriate to renew the mandate of the IIM. The DA is of sufficient priority to all countries and should be discussed in a dedicate meeting.
Iran: I would like to associate myself with with the GFOD statement and the Asian Group statement. Poses several questions:
1) Why do we support the IP agenda for development?
Development is an integral part of all UN activities. This explains the global consequences of the MDGs. The DA goes beyond technical assistance to norm setting and other areas. Development is a cross-cutting phenomenon. Specific attention should be paid to the relationship between IP and development. We strongly support the extension of the IIM to 2006
2) What do we mean by IP agenda for development?
This needs to be discussed further to come to some consensus.
3) What should we do about this?
We strongly support the renewal of the IIM for 2006.
Chair: Thanks to everyone, and now I'll make a brief summary of where we stand.
Everyone here articulated their belief in the importance of the DA. There also is agreement on the need to discuss proposals in IIM including two that have not yet been discussed.
There was the issue of course of where to proceed.
A wide majority, a significant majority believe that the IIM should be extended. The Chair noted the alternative proposal to put it into the PCIPD.
There is some difference of opinion on this issue. This isn't a big deal, and I am optimistic that we can agree on this point. We shall try to have informal consultations later this afternoon. We shall set agenda item 13 aside for now.
We have 18 items left, and we need to get through them by tomorrow. I'd therefore like to open Agenda Item 14.
Secretariat (Francis Gurry): The future work plan of the Standing Committee on Patents. Let me tell of the story of this long saga. Last year the United States submitted a proposal on a future work plan of for the SCP. The Director General held informal consultations in February in Casablanca. The SCP failed to reach agreement on the work plan.
Switzerland (on behalf of Group B): In order to improve the world's patent systems, it is necessary to implement common patent examination standards.
Argentina (GFOD): Document GA/32/9 draws our attention to the last meeting of SCP. Notes the Casablanca recommendations. Of interest was that these recommendations left aside issues of concerns to developing countries. The discussion of the 11th session of the SCP indicates that there is no consensus on this issue. The discussions in the SCP should focus on a broader set of issues. In fact, this marked the third time that this was rejected.
This proposal cannot form an appropriate framework in which to move forward.
In fact, patents are so cross-cutting that they will impact public health, environment, and nutrition. The implications of patents on health came to a fore in 2001 at Doha. The Doha Declaration encouraged countries to use flexibilities. WIPO should take into account the development dimension. Norm-setting at WIPO should take into account the safeguarding public interest flexibilities
The four proposals singled out in Casablanca and the US/Japan (last year's GA) involve core aspects of the patent regime. Under Article 27, countries have flexibility to determine standards of flexibility.
Unfortunately, the proposals of the US and Japan would prevent local flexibilities from being respected, and they depart from the norms of multilateral policy formation.
We would like to raise again our concerns with the manner in which the Casablanca consultations were organized. This sort of situation should not repeat itself. A new possible SPLT treaty that did not take into account the development dimension would not be acceptable.
Morocco: We support patent law harmonization. IP is a development tool.
United Kingdom (on behalf of EC and Bulgaria/Romania): We remain concerned with the outcome of the last session of the SCP. We should concentrate on a few set of issues. The EU supports the statement made by Group B.
China: On the future work of SPT & SPLT:
1) In the recent years of the revitilization of patent law harmonization has been of great importance to a number of countries.
We support what developing countries propose.
2) There have been 6 sessions since the drafting of SPT, and there has been much work done on this. However, due to the circumstances that blocked substantive progress on this treaty, we have seen proposals to limit the scope of the treaty in order to gain consensus. We see why this might be valuable.
3) Outlines issues of import to DCs within the treaty, suggests that these should be integral to future drafts. We need to have international rules on this as soon as possible.
We would like to support your work in making substantive progress.
Czech Republic (On behalf of Central European & Baltic States): Committed to continuing work on patents. Support EU position.
United States: We support Group B statement. We need a sensible plan to move forward on the SPLT-we should focus our work on:
1) prior art
2) grace period
4) inventive step
We do not believe that a single undertaking is the appropriate framework to move things forward as it would be unworkable and inefficient.
There is a successful precedent at WIPO for breaking larger issues into smaller talks. By limiting the scope, we can move forward. We recommend limiting the scope of the SCP is the best course of action.
Japan: We've been working on SPLT since 2000, but we are still far from agreement on it.
Egypt: Attach ourselves to the statement made by Argentina. We need to carry out these discussions in balanced manner. We should examine the consequences of these discussions on health, biodiversity and nutrition.
South Africa: We would like to support Argentina's and Morocco's statement. We are a member of the Convention on Biological Diversity (COOP 7 sp?)
If one follows the approach if the IGC, then you cannot accept that patent systems continue to ignore DA issues.
The DA should permeate all WIPO treaties. WIPO should produce instruments that cater to the needs of all Member States. SPLT should protect against bio-piracy and protect genetic resources.
South Africa is on the verge of passing a law on this, and we recommend other countries proceed with this as well.
Trinidad & Tobago:
Venezuela: Restates support for FoD. Inappropriate to proceed with harmonisation work.
Brazil: We fully endorse the statement made by Argentina. In this agenda item as unfortunately, we have both a matter of substance and procedure. Procedure was not adequate to help find a solution to the impasse. I disassociated myself from the Casablanca process. Harmonization may be a euphemism for standardization that is not appropriate.
We also believe that harmonisation is in opposition, to a certain extent, to our believe that patent laws should be in line with the national interests of each country. Despite these concerns, we have supported going forward. However, we do not believe that it is appropriate to proceed on a small number of issues, as this might contribute to misunderstanding over this form of "harmonization."
Iran: Associates itself with statement by Argentina (GFOD). At the last GA, it was decided that the dates of the SCP were to be decided by the WIPO DG.
There should be a recognition of public interest flexibilities and disclosure of origin.
Doha Declaration drew attention to the nexus of IP and health.
Lack of consensus in the deliberations was reflected three times.
rejected 3 times ??
India: The Prime Minister of India said earlier this year "An ideal regime has to strike a balance between the innovators and the users of the fruits of these innovations". This will be possible only when all the substantive issues are treated on an equal footing.
Access to health, nutrition [missed some] are some of our key concerns.
Substantive issues of interest to us include: access and benefit sharing, disclosure of origin, and policy space.
Chile: We believe that the best, if not the only way, to get a balanced agreement is by including all aspects of patents, including in the draft treaty.
Chair: The GA is invited to give directions on the SPLT. In the view of the chair, it is difficult to give a summary of the direction of the future work programme. There were differing views which can only be clarified in a more informal setting. We have a basis to continue discussions however. I will defer action on this item and will continue in an informal setting.
Agenda item 15 at around 15.00.
1:12 PM (End of morning session)
Chair: We'll now move to Item 15.
Deputy Director-General (Francis Gurry): Document 6 concerns involving indigenous communities in these intergovernmental meetings, including the establishment of a voluntary travel fund. The IGC has come to an agreement on the voluntary fund. Attendees would have to come through accredited NGOs. WIPO would administer the fund. Text has been created and consensus achieved - now we need to approve.
Document 7 concerns work of IGC. In 2003, the GA established a mandate for the IGC to create a biennial report. GA is invited to check out the report, and asked to renew the mandate of the IGC to work on folklore and TK. Also, paragraph 33 of the original mandate is no longer necessary. We suggest removing it.
Chair: Can we agree on the first item? Yes - so decided. Now we turn to the second item.
Argentina (On behalf of FoD): Many developing countries have been disappointed in the progress of the IGC. Many pushed for a renewed focus on mandating results-oriented work for the IGC.
Note that we have not limited any outcomes, including a treaty implement to carry on this work.
We endorse the recommendation submitted to the GA to renew the mandate of the IGC.
Switzerland (On behalf of Group B): The IGC is making good progress under its current mandate. No need to expand its mandate. Welcomes voluntary contribution funds.
UK (On behalf of EC and acceding states):
The EU supports wider stakeholder participation in the work dealing with traditional cultural expressions and traditional knowledge. The EU has submitted a proposal on the issue of genetic resources regarding disclosure of origin. Any renewal of the mandate of the IGC should include all these issues.
Morocco: We'd like to emphasise the importance of the work of the IGC. We'd like to continue this work by introducing several binding international instruments. This is the only way to implement the work we've done. We therefore believe it wise to take a contributory approach to adjusting its mandate.
We also highlight the IGC's work on traditional culture expressions as quite important.
The African Group expresses its support for the creation of a voluntary fund to fund the participation of indigenous groups.
Iran (on behalf of Asian Group?): We have repeatedly expressed our interest in tangible outcomes for IGC. Despite the hard work of the committee, there has been opposition to tangible results.
The group is of the opinion that all Member States that the mandate of the IGC be renewed.
On paragraph 33, we believe that reopening the earlier mandate is unwise. We recommend renewing IGC's mandate without removing the paragraph.
China: IGC is charge of very difficult work. We hope that on the basis of preliminary results achieved by the IGC we can continue discussions on folklore, genetic resources and traditional knowledge to put forward solutions to these problems.
South Africa: We have got some difficulties in the Secretariat request regarding paragraph 33. What exactly is being asked?
International dimensions can be looked at.
Enough information has been amassed and the IB should come with a text , that text may lead to an internally binding instrument.
Have we been following the correct mandate for the last two years? The mandate should be crafted so that we know exactly what it is.
Secretariat: The existing mandate is set out in paragraph 1 set out by the General Assembly two years ago.
In para 32, the IGC asks to have its existing mandate extended.
and secondly to consider the extension of the existing mandate as set out in paragraph 1. That is all the GA is asked to do at this stage.
Director General: If the question is whether the extension of the work of this committee implies an extension of its mandate, the answer is yes. The question is whether to extend the existing mandate for two more years, but that the substantive discussion on the extension of the mandate would be made within the IGC.
India: With our ancient civilization, we have a unique storehouse of TK, genetic resources, etc. As such, we really want a binding international instrument.
United States: We support the continuation of the mandate of the IGC. We will support the voluntary fund but we would also like to encourage that measures be taken to ensure that the representatives are not self-selected, but indeed speak for a broad spectrum of groups.
Chile: We support the renewal of the mandate of this committee.
Kenya: We agree that the IGC's work should produce a binding international treaty. We also agree with extending its mandate.
We look forward to when the benefits that accrue from the protection of TK, genetic resources are shared with the relevant groups.
We expect that the renewed committee will produce model laws and draft treaties by the end of the year.
Egypt: It is our understanding that there was a clear consensus to renew the mandate of the IGC. Finally we would like to reaffirm our position that the work in IGC should be treated in the same footing as work at the SPC and at the WTO.
Morocco: We believe that we must regulate the exploitation of TK at international level which can only be done through a legally binding instrument.
to stop the illegal exploitation of such resources. We approve the creation of a voluntary fund.
Chair: I have a list of 10 speakers. Recognize that.
Turkey: We welcome the establishment of a voluntary fund and we support the delegation of Morocco speaking on behalf of the African Group.
In addition, we'd like to recall our position on this topic, and indeed we wonder if our opinion was fully taken into account during the last meeting.
The selection of representatives should be made in close co-operation with member states. We asked the Secretariat why it was possible for donors to be involved in this process. We made this request in writing because we had not received an answer. We recommended the deletion of Article 6 f.2, we thought it had been deleted, and we therefore cannot endorse the proposal as it stands.
Oman: The Sultanate of Oman attaches great importance to this issue, as do our people. We agree to the proposed decision and hope that we will arrive at a legally binding instrument for the protection of genetic resources and TK. We have already enacted legislation for this purpose as our constitution stresses this principle. We also support the establishment of a voluntary fund.
Peru: On behalf of the GRULAC countries. It is important to renew the mandate for two years.
Peru: On behalf of Peru. We would like to endorse the statement by the GFOD and the statement on behalf of GRULAC. The work of the committee is very important to Peru as we have many indigenous communities.
Therefore, we also welcome the creation of the voluntary fund. We think that things have been very productive to date, especially with regard to traditional knowledge. However, other areas have languished. For the sake of consensus, we accept the renewal of the mandate, but we should strive to achieve tangible results, as is the case with TK where we already have a possible legal instrument which could be binding in the long term.
Kyrgyzstan: We think that the best outcome of the IGC is an international instrument, and we need it ASAP. So we call for the renewal of the IGC's mandate, and we support the voluntary fund.
Canada: Canada supports the renewal of the existing mandate of the IGC.
Sudan: We support the extension of the IGC's mandate, and the voluntary fund.
Trinidad & Tobago: We take note of WO/38/7. We are compelled to recognise the valuable work done so far, but it would seem that decisions are only achieved after lengthy debate.
We appreciate the efforts of the IGC, as we recognize that this isn't easy to do.
Our music, drama, oral literature, arts and crafts now find themselves exposed to the wider world and are subject to profit making concerns. We are sure this applies to other developing countries. We welcome the establishment of the voluntary fund.
New Zealand: We support the statement made on behalf of Group B. The resources produced are invaluable to policy makers and stakeholders, regardless of where the work leads.
The work on principles, for example, has been useful in working through TK issues. Many of us are just getting started on our own policy work, and the continued production of IGC's materials is itself valuable.
There are many country specific variables and we acknowledge that it is a complex issue. So it doesn't surprise us that the IGC is still figuring things out.
We support the continuation of the IGC and the adoption of the voluntary fund.
Nigeria: We note with satisfaction the proposal to renew the mandate and to establish a voluntary fund. We are concerned about the rate of progress on the IGC. There have been lots of discussions but we regret to note that little substantive work has been done. After 8 sessions and mountains of documentation, we still do not have before us a consolidated text that can form the basis of a binding instrument.
The core issues are not limited to protection of TK, but to preventing the exploitation of patent applications. We associate ourselves with all those who have called for an internationally binding instrument.
Malaysia: Supports the extension of the IGC. We think that a binding instrument is an important goal, and we support the voluntary fund.
Ethiopia: Here we are dealing with assets in which LDCs have a comparative advantage.
We also note that the discussion have themselves been valuable, and the materials obtained there have found their way into domestic legislation. We support the extension of the IGC and the voluntary fund.
Iran: As a culturally rich and developing country, this issue is of great importance to us and why reaching internationally binding frameworks is necessary. In light of this, we think that the extension of IGC's mandate should be approved.
Antigua & Barbuda: We support the statements of Peru & Trinidad & Tobago. We agree that the mandate be extended to the next biennial.
Chair: No more speakers. Draws attention to paragraph 33 on page 9 of WO/ga/32/7, asks for consensus, then adopts it as amended.
Proceeds by quickly touching on:
Agenda Item 16 - calls on Gurry to take floor.
Agenda Item 17 - regarding the Patent Law Treaty
Agenda Item 22 - concerning Internet domain names
Agenda Item 23 - All observers have been admitted.
[RB: This last item is short but significant. Many organizations, including EFF, fought to gain access for a broad selection of NGOs. Today, we won.]