WIPO Development Agenda Talks Move Ahead13/04/2005 by William New, Intellectual Property Watch Leave a CommentShare this Story:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)IP-Watch is a non-profit independent news service, and subscribing to our service helps support our goals of bringing more transparency to global IP and innovation policies. To access all of our content, please subscribe now. You also have the opportunity to offer additional support to your subscription, or to donate.World Intellectual Property Organisation members late Wednesday night agreed to continue discussing a proposal to more deeply infuse developing country needs into the mission of the UN body.After three full days of closed-door meetings – much of them in private meetings of smaller groups — members reached a carefully crafted compromise: to hold two more meetings, one in June and one in July. This was significant as some members view the push for a development agenda at WIPO as unnecessary arguing that the organisation has long addressed development issues.The subject of this week’s inter-sessional intergovernmental meeting (IIM) in Geneva was a proposal for a WIPO Development Agenda made at last fall’s WIPO General Assembly by Argentina and Brazil. The proposal was co-sponsored by 12 other countries (collectively called the Friends of Development). The IIM was tasked by the General Assembly with providing a report by the end of July.Prior to the meeting, three other proposals emerged, from the United States, United Kingdom and Mexico, along with an expanded version of the Friends of Development proposal. Government and non-governmental representatives spent most of the time on the floor presenting their views on the proposals.But the actual negotiating during the meetings was largely over how to proceed. Differences emerged early as developed countries sought to characterize the development issue as one of technical assistance. The developed countries proposed to move the discussion to an existing committee on technical cooperation, and to limit the IIMs to one more meeting.Many developing countries advocated a framework that extends beyond technical cooperation. They argued that a stronger development perspective demands changes to WIPO’s governance, its approach to new negotiations, a stronger focus on technology transfer, and improvements to technical assistance. They insisted that these issues warrant attention across WIPO’s committees and activities.The final agreement is to hold a three-day meeting from 20 to 22 June, and a three-day meeting in July. Member states were asked to contribute additional proposals to the secretariat as soon as possible. Existing proposals are to be resubmitted in the form of action plans.A draft report of the first IIM will be posted to the WIPO website by 25 April, with comments on it due by 4 May. The revised draft report will be posted on 11 May.Guilherme de Aguiar Patriota, the lead Brazilian delegate, said afterward that he hoped the two upcoming meetings would focus on the substance of the proposals, with an eye toward the establishment of a work plan on the Development Agenda at next fall’s General Assembly.Some non-governmental groups were relatively upbeat about the outcome of the first meeting. “This is a process that has momentum and the commitment of a large number of countries in a way unlike certain other processes at WIPO which are not enthusiastically participated in,” said Nick Ashton-Hart, a non-governmental representative and former executive director of the International Music Managers Forum.For instance, the broadcasting treaty talks had fewer participants, and 18 proposals over seven years, he said. By contrast, WIPO reported that this week’s meeting involved 99 member countries, 16 inter-governmental organisations and 41 non-governmental organisations.The fight over meeting schedules had significant consequences for the Development Agenda. “Without meeting time, processes are dead,” Ashton-Hart said. “That’s why when something gets started that they wanted, countries fight so hard to keep them going. It’s an indication of how much they care about this.”In another development, the members agreed at the last minute to a change that would appear to allow seventeen non-accredited non-governmental organisations admitted Monday morning to this week’s meeting on an ad hoc basis to attend the remaining IIMs.Share this Story:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Related"WIPO Development Agenda Talks Move Ahead" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.