WIPO General Assembly Left To Decide Future Work Of TK Committee 25/07/2013 by Catherine Saez, Intellectual Property Watch 4 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)After three days of stocktaking, members of the World Intellectual Property Organization committee on genetic resources and traditional knowledge were unable to agree on a recommendation on the future work of the committee to the September WIPO General Assembly. Instead, a report will be transmitted to the Assembly with the expectation that this high level committee will reach agreement. The major sticking point is the convening of a diplomatic conference (highest level treaty negotiation) in the 2014-2015 biennium. Developing countries insist that only a diplomatic conference will push countries to an efficient political engagement, and developed countries insist the move is premature. The “Report of the proposals made by delegations regarding future work of the IGC, following the Review and Stocktaking conducted under Agenda Item 7 as at the close of the session on July 24, 2013,” is available here [pdf]. The WIPO Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore (IGC) was mandated by the 2012 General Assembly to take stock of progress made during 2013 and formulate a recommendation to the 2013 General Assembly. Yesterday, a set of draft recommendations [pdf] was released compiling different options coming from the different country positions (IPW, WIPO, 24 July 2013). Reconvening after a break to consider the document, delegates appeared puzzled as to the nature of the text. The United States provided some additional language to be inserted while several countries submitted amendments to the text. India, although submitting textual amendments, said it did not understand the purpose of the document, noting the number of bracketed text in the draft recommendation. Also India found the draft recommendation did not reflect all options presented by regional groups. Indonesia concurred and said it was difficult to recognise clear and distinct positions as they were articulated in the informal morning session by regional coordinators. The delegate said elements of the position of a group of “like-minded countries” were scattered in the document and difficult to follow. He also voiced doubts as to whether the discussions on the document could be finalised by the end of the afternoon. Egypt also said it was difficult to follow the initial contributions of countries. Trinidad and Tobago pointed out that the position of the Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC) on the high-level meetings to be held prior to future IGC sessions had be reconfigured with now the proposal to hold one level meeting prior to the next session of the IGC with ambassadors, and this new position was not reflected either in the document. Brazil suggested that the document be considered as a document from the facilitator instead of a recommendation to the General Assembly. It was then decided that another document showing options by proponents neatly separated should be prepared and be presented as a report to be transmitted to assist the General Assembly in its consideration of the IGC future work. The report was issued in the early evening and Jamaican Ambassador Wayne McCook, chair of the IGC, invited delegations to evaluate it and state if their positions were adequately reported. Additions or amendments of proposals and textual additions are to be taken separately and added to the report, both to be transmitted to the General Assembly, he said. The report contains five titles: renewal of mandate, number of IGC sessions, reference to diplomatic conference, studies/examples, and proposals. Under each title, several options representing the different positions expressed are laid out. Delegations made a few slight modifications to the report. And all praised the work of Ian Goss from Australia, “friend of the chair,” who acted as facilitator and drafted both documents issued yesterday. Some delegations also made textual additions to the text, that were recorded and will be transmitted to the General Assembly along with the report of the proposals. Also issued yesterday were the draft decisions [pdf] of the 25th session of the IGC. Those decisions had been adopted last week, at the close of the meeting. The decision on agenda item 7, which was the reviewing and stocktaking exercise, was approved yesterday at the close of the meeting. Alexandra Grazioli of Switzerland, vice-chair of the IGC told Intellectual Property Watch that it was disappointing that little progress was made on future work in the context of a general consensus on the renewal of the mandate of the IGC for the next biennium. Switzerland, which has shown in previous IGC meetings a more flexible position than most developed countries, told Intellectual Property Watch that even if Switzerland is “fully committed to finalising work of the IGC” on the text of the international legal instrument in the next biennium, the country still cautioned however against “pushing for a decision for the holding of a diplomatic conference at a too early date, since we do not think that there is already at this stage enough common understanding and agreement on the three texts, let alone on key issues, a Swiss delegate told Intellectual Property Watch. “It would make more sense to fully use the next two years to finalise the draft texts for international legal instruments with a robust but feasible calendar of IGC meetings and a political will to breach the issues so that by the end of the biennium we will finally reach the final phase of the IGC work,” the delegate said. 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 General Assembly Left To Decide Future Work Of TK Committee" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.