WIPO Asked To Explain NGO Accreditation Process 23/02/2005 by William New, Intellectual Property Watch Leave a Comment 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)The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has come under fire from non-governmental organizations (NGOs) fearing exclusion from key meetings in April on WIPO’s Development Agenda. But a spokeswoman from the Geneva-based U.N. body on Wednesday said it is complying with its mandate for meeting accreditations. “We are complying with the decision of the General Assembly, but we are taking note of the requests that we have received to date,” the spokeswoman told IP-Watch Wednesday. She said WIPO is following the report of last autumn’s annual assembly of its members, which stated: “The General Assembly decides to convene inter-sessional intergovernmental meetings to examine the proposals contained in document WO/GA/31/11 [the Development Agenda proposal]…. WIPO-accredited IGOs [inter-governmental organisations] and NGOs are invited to participate as observers in the meetings.” But a posting to the Consumer Project on Technology (CP Tech) email listserve Wednesday called the situation an “accreditation fiasco” and charged that WIPO “appears to be severely limiting accreditation for this meeting.” According to CP Tech, WIPO appears to be denying all requests for ad hoc accreditation (for NGOs that are not already permanent WIPO NGO observers); and has indicated that permanent accredited NGOs may be limited to one- or two-member delegations, which CP Tech said would “greatly” skew participation in favour of right-owner NGOs as they already far outnumber other accredited non-governmental groups. In addition, CP Tech said, WIPO has rejected or ignored requests to balance participation between right-owner and consumer-interest NGOs. These points were accentuated in a letter to WIPO sent Tuesday by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). “The WIPO Development Agenda proposal encompasses a range of issues and substantive subject matters,” EFF said. “Limiting participation in the April meetings to currently-accredited NGOs will exclude many civil society organizations with special expertise in the matters in the Development Agenda proposal and is likely to render the discussions unbalanced and unrepresentative of developing nations’ interests.” At least one non-governmental organization representative who applied for ad hoc status was told to file an application, despite reports that no ad hoc accreditations would be offered. And EFF cited the absence of accreditation for the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development, which it called a “recognized leading expert” in issues of development and intellectual property. CP Tech Director James Love urged NGOs to press WIPO and its member nations to change the policy. In addition, he called for organisations from across the intellectual property spectrum to quickly develop and disseminate position papers on the development agenda. On the listserve, Love made a number of suggestions for paper subjects. “The debate on the WIPO development agenda is a big, big event,” he said. “The right-owner community and the U.S., E.U. and other developed countries are highly mobilized to undermine the [Development Agenda] proposals, and to split developing countries.” 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 "WIPO Asked To Explain NGO Accreditation Process" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.