[A2k] Intervention on WIPO Transparency and Accountability

Matthias Langenegger mlangenegger at ccianet.org
Thu Nov 15 03:02:15 PST 2012


Dear All,

CCIA made an intervention on WIPO's transparency, accountability and
governance during the Committee on Development and Intellectual Property
(CDIP) session yesterday. You can find it attached and copied below.

Best, Matthias


*CCIA Statement during CDIP/10 - 14 November 2012*

Mr. Chairman, the Computer & Communications Industry Association
congratulates you and your vice-chairs on your re-election of this
important Committee, and thanks the Secretariat for their hard work
preparing this meeting.

Mr. Chairman, CCIA believes the Development Agenda and the larger
commitment of WIPO to mainstreaming development concerns into its work is
critical. We actively supported the development agenda when it was first
proposed and we continue to support it today.

With respect to improvements to the transparency, accountability, and
governance of WIPO’s technical assistance activities - and to WIPO’s
activities in general - CCIA has been a leading private sector voice, from
our OpEd in IP Watch entitled “How to Reboot WIPO” to our interventions at
the recent Assemblies of WIPO and discussions with member-states across all
regions.

There is no doubt that developing countries have been leading on reform,
most recently in document CDIP/9/16. We believe that increasing
transparency, accountability, and good governance are of shared value to
all stakeholders.  We hope that we will see developed countries partnering
with developing countries to come to agreement on a package of improvements.

We would like to offer our thoughts on a number of proposals in CDIP/9/16:

*Section A, Relevance and Orientation, Section B, Programme and Budget, and
Section H, Assessing Impact, Monitoring & Evaluation*

We believe these sections are essential - but we suggest the Secretariat
should not develop the guidelines and processes alone. All of this has
already been done by the UN’s development agencies. Why reinvent the wheel?
In this context, we welcome the suggestion by Group B, and supported by
others, to dedicate a full day to the study of best practices in
development assistance at the next CDIP. Another benefit to adopting best
practices is that it will allow external analysis of WIPO’s activites
alongside those of other agencies on a “like for like” basis: WIPO
estimates that 21% of its budget is devoted to development assistance, yet
an OECD review of all UN agencies and their development assistance
activities found that only 3% of WIPO’s work was development related. As
has been noted by a number of delegates, this is in large part because WIPO
does not budget, plan, execute, review, or define these activities in any
way that allows for it to be looked at alongside these same activities at
other agencies.

*Section D, Human Resources:*

On paragraph 2: We believe this review should go further, and not just
apply to development activities, but to all of WIPO’s work.

*Section E, “Experts and Consultants”:*

We believe the recommendations here are key, however, we believe they
should be broader. For example, in paragraph 1, there’s no need to limit
this to development activities; it should apply across the board.

Mr. Chairman, the advice WIPO gives to member-states on changes to legal
systems is of critical importance to all stakeholders and can have a
dramatic impact - including unintended consequences. It is essential to
disclose the credentials and expertise of those upon whom WIPO relies, both
internal and external, to develop its advice - and to publish the results,
though we understand that some countries may wish to have the name of the
recipient country redacted.

*Section F, Transparency and Communication:*

We support this entire section, with two suggestions:

1      The measures called for should apply across-the board not just to
development-related activities. In that vein, the reporting back would be
to each of the relevant WIPO committees, rather than just to CDIP.

2     With respect to paragraph 4, it doesn’t seem useful to limit the
engagement in the first instance to the local missions; the information in
question should be on the website; where direct communications with
countries is done. Why not ensure both capitals and local missions are
copied in?

*Section J, Legislative and Regulatory Assistance*

Paragraph 1: We believe all advice should be posted, *rather than what
paragraph 1 suggests, though a facility* to allow countries to redact their
name so that the advice isn’t clearly linked to them may be desired by some
countries.

With respect to the independent reviews in this section, we suggest that
this should apply across-the-board, rather than just to development, and
that would then make unnecessary some of the specific development-related
language which we understand is a point of contention.

A final point, Mr Chairman: a proposal has been made by some developed
countries for a day adjacent to the Assemblies in 2013 where industry
stakeholders’ activities and needs would be highlighted without equal
treatment for all stakeholders. For what it is worth, we didn’t ask for
this. We don’t know of anyone from industry that did. In our view, as we
said at the Assemblies, granting any single group of non-governmental
stakeholders special treatment would damage WIPO’s credibility. What is
needed - and has not yet been proposed - is a global, inclusive,
transparent consultation with the non-governmental community to hear *what
it* *believes it needs *and how it could better engage with WIPO and
member-states, without compromising the fundamental dynamic, *that it
is*for member states to propose and agree, and for everyone else to
advise and
comment.

Thank you for the opportunity to be heard Mr. Chairman.

-- 

Kind Regards,

Matthias Langenegger

Deputy Geneva Representative

Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA)

Phone: +41 22 548 09 04

Mobile: +41 79 644 65 35

Fax: +41 22 594 85 44

email: mlangenegger at ccianet.org

http://www.ccianet.org


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