New WIPO Development Agenda Group Seeks Transformation Of UN Agency 26/04/2010 by Kaitlin Mara for Intellectual Property Watch and William New 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) Ongoing efforts to implement the 2007 Development Agenda at the World Intellectual Property Organization took another twist today as a new group was launched representing developing countries seeking full transformation of the United Nations body toward a development-oriented perspective on intellectual property issues. The WIPO Committee on Development and IP is meeting from 26-30 April. The 2007 Development Agenda agreement represented “a milestone” in achieving a “paradigm shift in the international perspective of intellectual property,” said the delegation of Egypt on behalf of the new group, according to a copy of its opening statement, available here [pdf]. “While the inception of the Development Agenda marked a watershed re-balancing of the global perspective on IP, the mainstreaming and implementation of these recommendations presents a considerable challenge.” The Development Agenda is a shift from “viewing IP as an end in itself to viewing it as a means to serve larger public goals of social, economic and cultural development,” the statement added. Also new for this week are two reports from the WIPO secretariat: the director general’s report on the implementation of the Development Agenda; and a report on WIPO’s contribution to the UN Millennium Development Goals. In addition, as the Development Agenda is currently in its implementation phase, there is a series of updates on projects at different stages of acceptance and implementation being reviewed this week. Also on the agenda for the week are discussions on a monitoring and coordination mechanism for the implementation of the Development Agenda. WIPO Director General Francis Gurry in his opening remarks said the main challenge after the 2007 General Assembly approved the Development Agenda was how to “operationalise” its 45 approved recommendations, sources said. It was understood, Gurry added, that the Development Agenda would not only be projects, but that project methodology was expected to give concrete content and momentum to the implementation. WIPO recognises that “each and every” element of the organisation must take development into account, Gurry said, but added that the extent to which development is “mainstreamed” is up to the member governments. He also said a measuring instrument would help members track the budget related to the Development Agenda in a transparent way. At least one developing country told the plenary that it wanted the secretariat to take a more proactive role in ensuring mainstreaming, sources said. In general in opening remarks today, developing countries appeared not to be critical of efforts so far but put a bigger vision on work going forward. Developed countries generally advanced the view that significant work on implementation and on IP and development has already been done and continues to be done. Development Agenda Group The “Development Agenda Group,” or DAG, is committed to mainstreaming the development dimension into all areas of WIPO’s work, using a set of guiding principles. A paper on these principles is expected to become an official CDIP document this week, and is also available as a part of the DAG statement linked above. The DAG so far consists of: Algeria, Brazil, Cuba, Djibouti, Ecuador, Egypt, Guatemala, India, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippines, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Uruguay and Yemen. But group members have said any WIPO member who commits to the group’s set of principles may join. The DAG said it “aims at coalition building among pro-development groups and member states across regions, and comprises countries at different levels of development.” It is traditional within WIPO to form negotiating groups, usually along geographic lines but also on basis of a common position. There has also long been a cross-regional group of developed nations – the so-called “Group B” – in which developed countries holding most of the world’s IP rights negotiates as a bloc. The DAG was set up because “there has been no cross-regional issue- and interest-based group of developing countries,” a delegate from the group told Intellectual Property Watch. The Friends of Development group that ushered the Development Agenda negotiations along during several years “died a natural death” after the Agenda’s adoption. The new group is not being formed out of concern that the implementation is not going well, the delegate said, but rather to lend focus to the goal of mainstreaming the development dimension in all aspects of the organisation. Coordination Mechanism There are also a set of proposals for a coordination mechanism to handle and assess implementation work related to the agenda. These proposals are from the Group B and from Algeria, Brazil and Pakistan. These two proposals were discussed at length at the last CDIP 16-20 November, with the Algeria, Brazil, Pakistan proposal gaining an official co-sponsorship from India and the support of a “like-minded” group of developing countries (IPW, WIPO, 20 November 2009). An informal document combining the two proposals was also made at the negotiations in November, and may come up in discussions of the formal texts this week. A copy of it is available here [pdf]. New Studies There are also new studies by civil society groups on the development agenda. Think-tank IQsensato has published a working draft of a paper entitled “The Development Agenda and the Changing Face of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO),” which looks at how the Development Agenda has begun to change, and could continue to change, WIPO. And the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development will tomorrow hold a launch at WIPO for a new book entitled “Intellectual Property and Sustainable Development: Development Agendas in a Changing World.” New WIPO Logo Separately, WIPO today unveiled a new logo which it has said reflects the organisation’s “dynamism and innovative spirit.” 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 Kaitlin Mara may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.William New may be reached at email@example.com."New WIPO Development Agenda Group Seeks Transformation Of UN Agency" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.