Coordination Mechanism Adopted For WIPO Development Agenda Implementation01/05/2010 by Kaitlin Mara, 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)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.A mechanism to watch the continuing implementation of development-oriented principles into the World Intellectual Property Organization’s work has now been found. For many, the Development Agenda is the most important agreement in WIPO’s recent past, and the mechanism – which will monitor, assess and report on its implementation – was a critical area of importance in ensuring it reaches its full potential.Update: documents now available. The informal negotiating text on the coordination committee as of 29 April is here [pdf]. The final coordination committee text is here [pdf]. The summary by the chair is here [pdf]. And the Development Agenda Group’s principles paper is here [pdf].Discussion on the mechanism absorbed much of the final days of the 26-30 April Committee on Development and Intellectual Property (CDIP), with interested delegations in informal consultations to try and find a middle-ground consensus on two differing visions of what the mechanism might look like. One of these had been submitted by the Group B of developed countries and the other by a group of “like-minded” developing countries, which presented their “joint proposal.”Also, several new Development Agenda projects were approved, such as on the public domain, though a key proposal on technology transfer did not reach consensus and a revised version will be taken up at the next CDIP meeting in November.And a last minute argument broke out on the status of a proposal by the newly formed Development Agenda Group (DAG) that kept the committee running late into Friday night debating over whether a paper detailing the group’s guiding principles would be considered a ‘working document’ – with a WIPO document number – or an ‘information document,’ with those calling for it to be a working document prevailing in the end, according to sources.The CDIP was formed after the WIPO Development Agenda was approved in 2007, containing 45 recommendations on ways to ensure WIPO activities are as development friendly as they should be for a UN agency. Governments have been negotiating on its implementation since.Also happening during the week was a side event hosted by the Centre for International Environmental Law (CIEL) on human rights, climate change, and technology transfer, and an International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development book launch.Coordination MechanismTalks on a coordination mechanism had as of Friday morning stalled on issues related to when and how long the monitoring and assessment process should be discussed, whether to invite outside commentators to CDIP meetings, and when and how an independent review body would operate.A solution was found late Friday, with delegates agreeing that the monitoring and assessment discussions would be the first substantive item on its agenda, that it be allocated sufficient time within the CDIP meeting, and that CDIP sessions could be extended if needed “on an exceptional basis.”A joint proposal text saying that the CDIP could invite the chairs of WIPO bodies to discuss implementation was not included in the final coordination mechanism due to concerns from other member states that speaking on behalf of committees is outside the mandate of chairs, sources told Intellectual Property Watch.On the subject of an independent review, the joint proposal had asked for biennial, regular reviews beginning in 2011, according to their proposal. Group B wanted a single review, tentatively scheduled for 2015, sources told Intellectual Property Watch. A compromise was found with a single review at the end of the 2012-2013 biennium, with the possibility that further reviews could be decided upon at that time.The joint proposal had also asked that all WIPO bodies ensure that all of their products are in accordance with Development Agenda principles. This was not included in the final report. Text that called for “existing mechanisms within WIPO” be strengthened in order to support review and evaluation of Development Agenda recommendations was added late Friday.Development Agenda Group TextThe DAG announced its formation on Monday (IPW, WIPO, 26 April 2010), and then submitted to the secretariat a paper containing 19 “guiding principles” for the group to be included with the formal documents of the committee.These principles include, among others: that it be incumbent upon WIPO to be fully guided by development goals in all WIPO bodies; that capacity building include not just strengthening of IP but fostering of domestic innovation; a commitment to the creation of a legally binding agreement for preventing misappropriation of traditional knowledge, traditional cultural expressions and genetic resources; and emphasis on the importance of external oversight of WIPO to ensure transparency and good governance.The document was submitted Friday as a formal working text with the number CDIP/5/9. But some countries protested that the document, as it was not debated in plenary, should be only “informational.” WIPO had no clear way for handling this particular kind of submission, sources said.Several sources were unable to explain the concrete difference between the two types of documents – in practice, both will be included in the permanent record of the committee. The argument appeared to be more a proxy debate on the relative significance of the new group and its principles.One developing country delegate said the argument was “reflective of the unease” of developed countries over the “creation of a new developing country grouping in WIPO, the DAG, which it views as the inheritor of the role the Friends of Development played in bringing significant change to WIPO.”Technology Transfer, Other ProjectsThe technology transfer project was submitted for approval at the last CDIP in November 2009, but concerns over some vaguely worded aspects of the proposal sparked a series of interventions and critiques that made it clear the project would not reach agreement at the time.The secretariat then recorded the different proposals, including comments submitted by countries between sessions in a non-paper, available here, classed according to areas where there is agreement, where agreement is possible, and where positions are still divergent.A revised version of the proposal is to be submitted to the next CDIP in November, incorporating proposals from different countries on which there is a substantial amount of common ground, according to the non-paper.Also approved were projects on intellectual property and the public domain, and on capacity building and the use of appropriate technology-specific technical and scientific information, in addition to projects adopted earlier in the week. A project on patent-related flexibilities in the multilateral legal framework was approved as a preliminary document, subject to revising by the secretariat from member states’ comments and including some new flexibilities, according to the chair’s summary of the meeting, available above.CIEL Side EventIn facing the universal human challenge of climate change, the need to share technologies and respond in accordance with human rights values is often cited.At a 29 April side event to the CDIP, speakers from several organisations explored this issue.There are several human rights that require technologies for their fulfilment, said Baskut Tuncak, a sustainable development law fellow at CIEL. These include the human rights to health, food, water, life and development.The 1974 agreement between the UN and WIPO, he added, makes WIPO responsible for facilitating the transfer of technology to developing countries. Its “failure to sufficiently incorporate UN-mandated obligations on development and” technology transfer is one of the issues that led to the Development Agenda, said Tuncak, according to a copy of his presentation. A rights-based approach could help lend an orientation to the projects implemented under the CDIP, he said.But while developing countries may need new technologies, they should also know that they are in a position of power in terms of having much-needed natural resources, said Caroline Dommen of the Quaker United Nations Office, she told Intellectual Property Watch after the event.ICTSD Book LaunchNo single system of intellectual property can meet all development needs, said panellists at an International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD) book launch on 27 April.The book, called Intellectual Property and Sustainable Development: Development Agendas in a Changing World, is an attempt to understand and look at the consequences of the expansion of the IP system into new frontiers, said Pedro Roffe of the ICTSD IP programme, explaining that in the case of a number of developing countries, IP rights? “are new issues.”“If one takes a long view of history,” said WIPO Chief Economist Carsten Fink, “developing countries find themselves in a unique situation. Needing to comply with TRIPS led to a certain degree of harmonisation… their experience is different than that of many developed countries where IP systems have evolved more gradually in response to domestic forces,” he said. TRIPS is the 1994 World Trade Organization Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights.José Estanislau do Amaral of the Brazilian mission praised the book, calling it a “clear and scholarly” expression of the “platform developing countries have been trying to articulate over the last few years.”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)RelatedKaitlin Mara may be reached at email@example.com."Coordination Mechanism Adopted For WIPO Development Agenda Implementation" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.