US Renews Effort To Topple WIPO Director General 19/10/2007 by William New, Intellectual Property Watch 18 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)By William New United States Ambassador to the United Nations Warren Tichenor on Thursday reiterated a call for answers to allegations surrounding the head of the World Intellectual Property Organization, who the US and others are pushing to resign out of concern for his leadership ability. WIPO Director General Kamil Idris has come under fire after a confidential internal auditor’s report surfaced late last year showing Idris may have over two decades systematically misreported his age to his advantage. Idris formally corrected his age in WIPO records in 2006 citing a technical error, effectively making himself 9 years younger than recorded. The US, Switzerland and others pushed for a discussion of the issue at the late September-early October WIPO General Assemblies but were partly blocked on procedural grounds. The assemblies ended without adoption of a budget for the next two years. Idris’ office has held fast to the position that he is innocent and the target of a smear campaign. African countries have backed Idris, who originally came from Sudan. The renewed US call comes after circulation earlier this week of an appeal to the director general to put organisational interests ahead of his own signed by more than 230 WIPO employees. The appeal and an African Group defence of Idris are available on www.ip-watch.org. The issue continues to generate a running discussion on the Intellectual Property Watch front page between WIPO staff and other stakeholders. “The WIPO internal audit report raises serious questions about the judgment, character, and integrity of the director general and his ability to effectively lead the organization, charges which have been echoed by a growing number of member states in recent weeks,” Tichenor said in a statement. “The United States notes with great interest the appeal issued by WIPO staff members regarding the current impasse at WIPO. The United States is also concerned about the crisis in leadership at WIPO.” Tichenor directly linked resolution of leadership issue with progress on a newly agreed WIPO Development Agenda, though Development Agenda proponents have downplayed the link. The United States was a reluctant participant in the Development Agenda negotiations which were aimed at ensuring the work of WIPO and the benefits of the intellectual property system are spread equally among all member states. “The current crisis of leadership at WIPO must be expeditiously resolved so that the vital work of the organisation, including the Development Agenda, can move forward in a positive fashion,” Tichenor said. Tichenor made clear that the United States is seeking a replacement for Idris. “WIPO deserves a director general who is above reproach and who can effectively lead the organisation into the future,” he said. “The US will continue to play a constructive role to put WIPO on a solid footing so that the organisation can resume its critical role of promoting innovation, economic prosperity and development through a strong global IPR protection system.” It is unclear what procedure will be followed should Idris not elect to step down, but several scenarios are being discussed among member states, sources said. William New may be reached at email@example.com. 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 "US Renews Effort To Topple WIPO Director General" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.