WIPO Director General Election: How It Works 03/02/2014 by William New, Intellectual Property Watch 2 Comments Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (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)On 6 March, the United Nations World Intellectual Property Organization will hold its once-every-six-year election for a director general, a prized post in the multilateral system. Tomorrow (4 February), the candidates will face member states and answer their questions. Intellectual Property Watch explains the election process. On 6-7 March, the WIPO Coordination Committee, a rotating executive body of 83 WIPO member states (out of nearly 200), will hold an extraordinary meeting to decide on a director general (DG). The Coordination Committee nomination will go to the full membership for appointment at a General Assembly, which may be held as soon as 7-8 May, according to a document approved at the October 2013 General Assembly. Under the procedure, the Assembly may appoint the DG no sooner than 3 months after the Coordination Council nomination and no later than one month before the end of the current DG’s term. The current term ends on 30 September 2014. The new DG will take over in October 2014, until 2020. According to the secretariat document on the process from last summer (IPW, WIPO, 17 July 2013), it was proposed to hold a special General Assembly in May to appoint the new DG in order to allow the DG to name his cabinet in time to be approved by the annual September Coordination Committee. As the DG’s term expires on 30 September, this will allow the new cabinet members to begin their term at the same time as the new or returning DG. The October 2013 Assembly approved this plan. Four Candidates There are four candidates running for the DG post (IPW, WIPO, 6 December 2013), having been nominated by their governments by the December deadline. The candidates are current DG Francis Gurry (Australia), Deputy DG Geoffrey Onyeama (Nigeria), Amb. Jüri Seilenthal (Estonia), and Amb. Alfredo Suescum (Panama). Their official nominations and CVs are available on the WIPO Coordination Committee website, here. Candidates Meet Member States, 4 February On 4 February from 2:00 to 6:00 pm, the four candidates will meet member states at WIPO and answer questions (this does not appear on the WIPO calendar). In addition, meetings (and possible campaign promises) have been ongoing for months between candidates and various constituents. Intellectual Property Watch has sent a short set of questions to the candidates as well. Voting Process Under its agreed process, the Coordination Committee is to seek consensus if possible, operating under a rule of respect for the candidates and with transparency. At its 6-7 March meeting, the committee may conduct a “straw poll” in a case where there are more than three candidates. In this poll, committee members mark their first and second choices on their voting paper, giving an indication of the top three candidates. Then among the three candidates, if consensus is not possible through consultation with the chair, formal voting will take place, narrowing it to two, and then one. Formal voting is by secret ballot and by majority. The elected chair of the committee is Senegal Ambassador Fodé Seck. The vice-chairs are Hungary Counsellor/Deputy Permanent Representative Virág Krisztina Halgand and Alexandra Grazioli of Switzerland. The 83 members of the Coordination Committee are: Afghanistan (ad hoc), Algeria, Angola, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Estonia, Ethiopia (ad hoc), Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Guatemala, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, North Korea, Norway, Pakistan, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Senegal, Singapore, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland (ex officio), Tanzania, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Viet Nam, Zambia, Zimbabwe. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (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 William New may be reached at email@example.com."WIPO Director General Election: How It Works" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.