WIPO Faces Resistance To Ensuring Equal Treatment For LGBT Staff 11/10/2017 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)The World Intellectual Property Organization is an international organisation based in Geneva, focused mainly on technical and legal issues of patents, trademarks and the like. But it is also a specialised agency of the United Nations, with over 1,000 employees. At its annual General Assemblies this week, an issue has arisen at WIPO that serves as a reminder of the complexities of UN membership. Some countries have taken issue this week with a reference in a WIPO human resources strategy that calls for equal treatment for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. On 6 October, member states who are on the WIPO Coordination Committee, which deals with human resources issues, were asked to take note of the Human Resources Strategy 2017-2021, document WO/CC/74/5 [pdf]. Members were not asked to vote, but according to participants in the closed-door Coordination Committee meeting, at least one delegation, Iran, raised concern about the reference. With one day to go in the assemblies, taking place from 2-11 October, this is among the issues still unresolved, according to sources, who added that more than one member state that has objected. Other countries have defended the reference, a source said. The strategy, under the header: “Support a sustainable future for WIPO as a self-funding specialized agency of the UN in a fast-changing environment,” includes the paragraph: “15. WIPO’s commitment to promoting an inclusive workplace encompasses people with disabilities and support for diversity in sexual orientation and gender identity. Accessibility of the WIPO campus to people with disabilities will continue to be improved. Best practices in ensuring accessibility in other areas (website, online documents, etc.) will be pursued. As part of the promotion of the well-being and equal treatment of staff, WIPO confirms its support for LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) integration and will continue to address the challenges that LGBT staff members may face in the workplace.” Over the past decade, the UN has moved increasingly to show support for LGBT persons. According to Wikipedia, some 96 UN member countries have expressed support. The UN has an appointed expert on LGBT issues, approved last year by the membership after much debate. Image Credits: Dreamstime Free Stock 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 William New may be reached at email@example.com."WIPO Faces Resistance To Ensuring Equal Treatment For LGBT Staff" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.