WIPO Development Committee Kicks Off With Compromise
By Rachel Marusak Hermann for Intellectual Property Watch on 15/11/2011 @ 3:57 pm
The eighth session of the World Intellectual Property Organization Committee on Development and Intellectual Property (CDIP) opened this week with the close of its seventh session. Committee coordinators were still gathered in negotiations as the eighth session was due to begin on 14 November, hammering out a compromise on proposed meetings on South-South cooperation among developing countries.
The CDIP’s seventh session was suspended on 6 May, as member states could not agree on various parameters of the project meant to bolster collaboration between developing and least developed countries (IPW, WIPO, 7 May 2011 ). In particular, developed countries objected to a proposition in the original project, submitted by Egypt, that included closed-door South-South meetings.
According to a delegate from Group B developed countries, this was the group’s “redline issue. We support South-South cooperation, but some states should not be excluded.” The sticking point was smoothed over with an amendment allowing meetings to be open to “developing countries, least developed countries and other interested Members.”
The chair’s draft summary of the seventh session is available here  [pdf].
Supporting South-South Cooperation
Several delegates from developing countries said that they were pleased that the project was finally adopted. One such delegate said that it was important that the decision was made by consensus and that it didn’t have to go to a vote. “It’s now open to all countries, which is part of the principle of the Development Agenda.”
“But that should not be the critical question here,” the delegate said. “What’s important is the actual exchange between South-South countries. These meetings will provide an important opportunity for developing countries to share common challenges and common solutions.” According to the chair’s draft summary, the meeting modalities should be decided upon at the regional coordinators level before the end of 2012.
Kicking off the meeting in compromise seemed to set a tone of country cooperation for the rest of the day. Many groups’ opening statements commented on the committee’s renewed commitment to move forward as a united front. For example, the Group of Latin American and Caribbean Countries (GRULAC) said in its opening remarks, “Mr. Chair, our organisation is based on the principles of multilateralism, inclusion and not exclusion. This week we will require the flexibility of all delegations and also your leadership in achieving positive outcomes for the benefit of developing countries on the items of this committee’s agenda.”
Reports: Technical Assistance and MDGs
This CDIP session, which meets until 18 November, has a hefty agenda  [pdf] with a number of substantial reports up for review. A new independent external review of WIPO technical assistance received widespread acknowledgement from member states, but when it will be reviewed is unclear.
The external review report  [pdf] was submitted to WIPO in summer by authors Carolyn Deere (Oxford University Global Governance Project and Board Chair of Intellectual Property Watch) and Santiago Roca (Professor of Economics at the ESAN Graduate School of Business in Lima and former director of Peru’s Industrial Property Office). The first document of its kind, the report looks at the effectiveness, impact, efficiency and relevance of WIPO technical cooperation activities from 2008-2010.
Made available to member states in early September, some countries called for extra time to review the report given its exhaustive nature. Group B noted in its opening statement  [pdf] that the review is “280 pages long, with a 35-page summary.” They suggested “it would be wise to allow for a detailed review and analysis of the paper before we undertake discussions. We also think that it is premature to decide upon convening a working group to discuss the recommendations.”
Another external report  [pdf] that garnered particular attention was “Assessing WIPO’s Contribution to the achievements of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)” submitted by Sisule Musungu, president of IQsensato, a non-profit research group on international policymaking on development-related issues.
The African Group took interest in the report during its opening remarks, available here [doc], saying, “The findings of the report necessitate WIPO to implement them urgently considering the overall assessment of the MDGs implementation is in four years time.”
IP and Development Proposal
The African Group also noted its support of a proposal for a new CDIP agenda item on IP and development. “The African Group is also concerned that the third pillar of the mandate of the CDIP on discussing IP and development is yet to be included in its regular work program. As we have suggested in the previous sessions of the Committee, we propose that a standing agenda item entitled intellectual property and development be added on the agenda of the CDIP.”
The Brazilian delegation made the proposal  [pdf] on behalf of the Development Agenda Group (DAG) during CDIP’s sixth session in November 2010. According to the African Group, the agenda item would “discuss how WIPO would address Development Agenda Recommendation 40, which instructs WIPO to intensify its cooperation on IP-related issues with other United Nations Specialized Agencies and organisations such as the WHO, UNEP and UNCTAD as well as other international organisations such as the WTO in order to strengthen coordination for maximum efficiency in undertaking development programs.”
Other topics up for discussion this week include modalities of a Development Agenda reporting mechanism, patents and the public domain, a future work program for flexibilities in the IP system, and contributions of relevant WIPO bodies’ implementation of the Development Agenda Recommendations.
[Update:] The draft opening statement of the Development Agenda Group, as prepared for delivery, is available here  [pdf].
Article printed from Intellectual Property Watch: http://www.ip-watch.org
URL to article: http://www.ip-watch.org/2011/11/15/wipo-development-committee-kicks-off-with-compromise/
URLs in this post:
 IPW, WIPO, 7 May 2011: http://www.ip-watch.org/weblog/2011/05/07/wipo-committee-on-development-agenda-suspended-discussions-bogged-down/
 available here: http://www.ip-watch.org/weblog/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/CDIP-7th-Session-Chair-Summary.pdf
 hefty agenda: http://www.wipo.int/edocs/mdocs/mdocs/en/cdip_8/cdip_8_1.pdf
 external review report: http://www.wipo.int/edocs/mdocs/mdocs/en/cdip_8/cdip_8_inf_1-annex1.pdf
 opening statement: http://www.ip-watch.org/weblog/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/CDIP-8-Opening-Statement_Group-B.pdf
 external report: http://www.wipo.int/edocs/mdocs/mdocs/en/cdip_8/cdip_8_4.pdf
 available here : http://www.ip-watch.org/weblog/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/CDIP-8-Opening-Statement-of-the-African-Group.doc
 the proposal: http://www.wipo.int/edocs/mdocs/mdocs/en/cdip_6/cdip_6_12_rev.pdf
 available here: http://www.ip-watch.org/weblog/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/Draft-declaration-of-DAG-to-the-8-CDIP.docx