Voting Procedures Set for WIPO Director General Vote Next Week 08/05/2008 by William New, Intellectual Property Watch 1 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)By William New The final procedures appear to be in place for next week’s all-important nomination election for the next director general of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). The WIPO Coordination Committee, the 83-member government executive body of the UN organisation, will meet on 13 May to narrow 15 candidates down to one. The new director general would take office for a six-year term on 1 October, the day after the scheduled conclusion of the General Assembly that must finalise the approval. Next week’s Coordination Committee meeting is scheduled to last as long as three days, through 15 May, if necessary. The committee’s recommendation will be forwarded for final approval to the General Assembly, where sources say approval is likely. Under the final rules of procedure, all voting will be by secret ballot, most likely on preprinted paper ballots deposited into a transparent box by two tellers drawn by lot among a list of volunteer delegates from each regional group, WIPO officials said. The first round will be an informal straw poll in which each member names their top two choices. This poll will not count but may lead to some candidates withdrawing. In the actual voting, the lowest-scoring two candidates will be eliminated in each round until there are nine candidates remaining, after which there will be one eliminated in each round. During the meeting, between the plenary voting sessions there will be intensive periods of informal negotiating among members. Near the end, it would be possible that members could reach agreement on the final candidate through informal negotiation rather than vote, an official said. This election’s procedure offers more opportunity for consultation and slower progress through the candidates than the last election in 1997, which resulted in the election of current Director General Kamil Idris, who will retire from the post one year early under pressure from some member states. Although the new director general will take office on 1 October, Idris will be paid his salary for an overlapping 14 months to the end of his original term, in late 2009, according to WIPO officials. In next week’s meeting, there is a procedure for dealing with tie votes. If the tie does not involve candidates with the least number of votes, it does not affect the process. If it occurs among those with the least number, the chair could decide to hold a new round between the tied candidates only. Of WIPO’s 184 members, only 83 governments will get to cast votes as members of the Coordination Committee. The other members communicate their views individually and through WIPO’s seven regional groups, six of which are based on geographic regions and one including the world’s largest economies (and holders of the vast majority of intellectual property rights). The Coordination Committee makeup is agreed by consensus by members at the annual WIPO General Assembly. Any member that belongs to a WIPO treaty or union is eligible for the committee. There has been unconfirmed discussion of suggested offers to countries of senior posts within WIPO if a certain candidate is elected. The director general has the authority to recommend the most senior officials to the membership, which typically accepts those nominations. The 15 candidates are: Alicja Adamczak (Poland), Toufiq Ali (Bangladesh), Jorge Amigo Castañeda (Mexico), José Graça Aranha (Brazil), Gjorgji Filipov (Macedonia), Francis Gurry (Australia), Masood Khan (Pakistan), Enrique Manalo (Philippines), Mauro Masi (Italy), James Otieno Odek (Kenya), Philippe Petit (France), Bojan Pretnar (Slovenia), Boris Simonov (Russia), Yoshiyuki Takagi (Japan), and José Delmer Urbizo (Honduras). The biographies of the candidates are on the WIPO website, and interviews with the candidates are on the Intellectual Property Watch website. The chair of the Coordination Committee is Hilde Skorpen of Norway. The current members of the Coordination Committee are: Afghanistan (ad hoc), Algeria, Angola, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belgium, Benin, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia (ad hoc), Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Korea, Latvia, Libya, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russia, Senegal, Singapore, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland (ex officio), Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Yemen, and Zambia. William New may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 "Voting Procedures Set for WIPO Director General Vote Next Week" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.