WIPO Director General Candidates Prepare To Face Governments, NGOs10/04/2008 by William New, Intellectual Property Watch 1 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)Much of our best content is available only to IP Watch subscribers. We are 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.By William New The candidates to be next director general of the World Intellectual Property Organization will get a chance to show their talents next week to government and non-governmental representatives.On Monday, 14 April, the candidates will face WIPO members in the plenary hall, one candidate at a time, according to sources. The next day, many of them will meet with civil society groups.With the governments on Monday, each candidate will be given 25 minutes to use as they wish; they could make presentations or answer questions. The questions were prepared by the WIPO regional groups and sent to them in advance. Each of the seven regional groups could send three questions, and any question may be asked of any candidate during their time.On 13-14 May, possibly extending to a third day, the 83 members of the WIPO Coordination Committee, the UN organisation’s executive body, will narrow the list of 15 candidates down to one. Their recommendation will go before the full WIPO General Assembly for confirmation in September. Biographies of the candidates are available on www.wipo.int. Interviews by Intellectual Property Watch with the candidates have been posted to www.ip-watch.org.Next week’s informal meeting, which will run from 9am to 7pm with interpretation, is open to all members of the Coordination Committee and all observers, which means the full WIPO membership of 184 members may attend. It is informal and fully voluntary. All candidates have accepted the invitation to attend.In addition, consultations are continuing between regional groups and Coordination Committee Chair Hilde Skorpen of Norway, mainly on procedural details of the May meeting, such as how many rounds of voting should take place, with how many candidates to be considered for the next round of voting, sources said. The May voting process will follow WIPO Rules of Procedure (pdf) for voting by secret ballot.The objective of consultations and the 14 April meeting is to open up the process, Skorpen told Intellectual Property Watch. “Ensuring the process is fully transparent is a main concern,” she said.Civil Society Meeting with CandidatesIn a separate event on 15 April, candidates will meet with civil society groups in Geneva.Most candidates have agreed to attend the meeting, according to organisers, which is designed as an opportunity for non-governmental representatives to “discuss their vision for the future of WIPO, including WIPO’s relationship with civil society,” they said.The event is sponsored by a large and diverse set of nearly 20 civil society groups, including: 3D-> THREE, Center for International Environmental Law, Edmonds Institute, Essential Action, Free Software Foundation Europe, International Environmental Law Research Center, International Federation of Library Associations, International Gender and Trade Network, IP Justice, Knowledge Ecology International, Library Copyright Alliance, Oxfam International, Public Interest Intellectual Property Advisors, Public Services International, SEATINI, and Third World Network.The group has put eight questions to the candidates, asking that those present be prepared to give a five minute answer on any of them, and for all to submit their answers to the questions in writing no later than 30 April. Contacts are Dalindyebo Shabalala of CIEL or Sangeeta Shashikant of Third World Network.The group said it in its letter to the candidates that it hoped they would follow the precedent set by candidates for the post of WTO director general who met with civil society organisations to discuss their vision and goals in January 2005, prior to Pascal Lamy’s election.It is unclear how the candidates are meeting with industry representatives.Civil society questions:1. What is your strategic vision for WIPO in addressing the challenges for IP regimes in the 21st century, for example, those elaborated by the European Patent Office in “Scenarios for the Future Compendium”?. The compendium is available at http://www.epo.org/topics/patent-system/scenarios-for-the-future.html. 2. What would be your three top priorities if elected as the Director General? 3. How do you think civil society can be better integrated into WIPO processes, particularly awareness-raising, technical assistance and norm-setting activities? For example, should civil society be given the regular opportunity to make submissions on substantive issues that WIPO would then disseminate to Member States and permanent observers? 4. How can WIPO ensure that its norm-setting processes are based on empirical evidence and an assessment of both negative and positive economic, environmental, social and human rights impacts? 5. How should WIPO mainstream the development agenda into all of its activities, particularly greater emphasis on policy space, use of flexibilities in favor of sustainable development objectives, and access to knowledge, especially for least developed countries? 6. What would be your priority recommendation for implementation in each cluster of the WIPO Development Agenda Recommendations and how would you implement it? 7. What action would you undertake when countries express concern over the negative impact of IPRs in particular areas such as education, libraries, access to medicines, and access to climate change technologies? 8. What benchmarks would you propose for yourself by which civil society could hold you accountable during your term?William New may be reached at email@example.com.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 Director General Candidates Prepare To Face Governments, NGOs" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.