UN Economic And Social Council To Address IP’s Role In Innovation, Tech

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The annual four-week session of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), a key coordinating body responsible for 70 per cent of spending across the UN system, opens next week with high-level political figures addressing intellectual property rights and innovation.

On 1 July, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon along with World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Director General Francis Gurry will speak on the latest Global Innovation Index, which will be issued earlier that morning by WIPO.

Several discussions and panels planned for the first week will examine intellectual property’s role in development goals, innovation, and technology. A draft programme for the first week can be found here [pdf].

The four-week session in Geneva is divided into five segments – High-Level (1-4 July), Coordination (5-9 July), Operational Activities (10-12 July), Humanitarian Affairs (15-17 July), and General (18-25 July) – which cover both global issues and administrative questions. A key topic will be the post-2015 development agenda.

The first segment will also feature keynote addresses from Irina Bokova, director general of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); Hamadoun Touré, director general of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU); Rolf-Dieter Heuer, director general of the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN); David Sengeh, creator of Innovate Salone; and Daphne Koller, advocate for massive open online courses (MOOCs). Outgoing World Trade Organization Director General Pascal Lamy is among other speakers during the week.

The ECOSOC session begins with opening remarks and the Annual Ministerial Review, which will address themes of “science, technology and innovation, and the potential of culture, for promoting sustainable development and achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).” The Annual Ministerial Review assesses the progress made in the implementation of the MDGs and the other goals and targets agreed at major UN conferences and summits over the past 15 years. France, Nigeria, Peru, Thailand and Vietnam will each present on the progress made on its development goals. 

Kelly Burke may be reached at info@ip-watch.ch.

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