WIPO Members To Work Toward Treaty On Folklore, Traditional Knowledge, Genetic Resources 06/05/2011 by Catherine Saez, 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)Building on recent momentum that has produced negotiating texts towards an international instrument to protect folklore, traditional knowledge and genetic resources, delegates to the World Intellectual Property Organization next week will try to clean the texts that still bear signs of division. The 18th session of the Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore (IGC) is taking place from 9-13 May. On Monday, WIPO is organising a panel on “Indigenous Peoples’ Collective Rights and Intellectual Property” [pdf] which will host James Anaya, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, as keynote speaker. The event will also feature Estebancio Castro Diaz, executive secretary, International Alliance of Indigenous and Tribal Peoples of the Tropical Forests, Panamá; Repeta Puna, policy advisor, Office of the Prime Minister, Cook Islands; and Eliamani Isaya Laltaika, coordinator, Tanzania Intellectual Property Rights Network. In May 2010, the IGC agreed on intersessional working groups to support and facilitate the IGC’s negotiations, according to the WIPO website, “by providing legal and technical advice and analysis, including where appropriate, various options and scenarios.” Three tracks of the IGC were addressed separately by country experts. The meetings also included representatives of indigenous peoples, civil society, industry, and international intergovernmental organisations. One aim of those meetings was to keep discussions focused on the technical dimension and avoid political discussion. The first intersessional working group (IWG 1) met from 19-29 July 2010 and addressed traditional cultural expressions/expressions of folklore. The group produced draft articles toward a possible international legal instrument, and asked that those articles be presented to the next IGC session, from 6-10 December, according to the summary report of the session [pdf]. (IPW, WIPO, 11 December 2010). The second intersessional working group (IWG 2) took place from 21-25 February and tackled the protection of traditional knowledge. Experts also produced a set of draft articles. According to the summary report of the session [pdf], IWG 2 asked the WIPO secretariat to prepare for the session next week a document “incorporating the draft articles prepared by the informal drafting groups, as well as the comments and texts proposed by the individual experts.” The draft text is strewn with different options reflecting the obstacles experts met with in trying to reach common language on most of the articles (IPW, WIPO, 25 February 2011). The third intersessional working group (IWG 3) met from 28 February – 4 March and was in charge of trying to follow suit with producing a negotiating text, but this last leg of the committee’s work on the protection of genetic resources was the farthest away from achieving this goal. Experts were given a number of documents to work from, which was burdensome, but the group nevertheless delivered a set of objectives and principles reflecting all points of views for next week’s IGC to work from (IPW, WIPO, 4 March 2011). According to the summary report of the IWG 3 meeting [pdf], a set of objectives and principles, along with comments made by experts, will be presented at next week IGC. One of the two vice-chairs of IWG 3 urged the IGC to consider the human rights aspect of the future instrument, and to refer to the WIPO Development Agenda. The objectives and principles [pdf] show a myriad of different options to reflect the differences in the experts’ discussion and delegates will have to try to trim down those options. A draft programme for next week [pdf] shows night sessions all week long. With only two more sessions (including next week) before the annual WIPO General Assembly in September, the IGC delegates next week will need to do substantive work to clean the draft articles. The next session of the IGC in July will probably focus primarily on the recommendations to be made to the General Assembly. That leaves the 18th session as the most intensive session on substance, according to a source. During IWG 3, indigenous peoples expressed concerns about the status of indigenous participation in the IGC negotiations and suggested that the mandate of the IGC be revisited to take the views of indigenous peoples and local communities. 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 Catherine Saez may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org."WIPO Members To Work Toward Treaty On Folklore, Traditional Knowledge, Genetic Resources" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.