[A2k] TWN Info: Assemblies told Development Agenda Decisions not fully implemented

Sangeeta Shashikant ssangeeta at myjaring.net
Wed Oct 2 14:39:53 PDT 2013



       
         
          TWN Info Service on Intellectual Property Issues (Sept13/02)
            30 September 2013
            Third World Network
            

          WIPO:Assemblies told Development Agenda Decisions not fully
implemented
http://www.twnside.org.sg/title2/intellectual_property/info.service/2013/ip
r.info.130902.htm

          Geneva,30 Sep (K.M. Gopakumar & Sangeeta Shashikant*) ­
Developing countries
            participating in the WIPO Assemblies exposed WIPO¹s continuing
failure 
            to fully implement decisions pertaining to the Development
Agenda.

          The Development Agenda was adopted by the General Assembly, the
highest
            governing body of WIPO, in 2007 to ensure that development
considerations 
            form an integral part of the organization¹s work.

          The WIPO Assemblies is meeting in Geneva from 23 September to 2
October.

          During the General Assembly, the Development Agenda Group (DAG),
the Africa
            Group and several other developing countries expressed
concerns that 
            certain aspects of the mandate of the Committee on Development
and 
            Intellectual Property (CDIP) have not fully been implemented.

          Of particular concern to the DAG and Africa Group is the
non-implementation
            of the third pillar of the CDIP mandate, which establishes
that the 
            Committee should discuss the interface between intellectual
property 
            (IP) and development; and the reporting of WIPO relevant
bodies on 
            the implementation of the Development Agenda as defined by the
approved 
            Coordination Mechanism.

          At the ongoing Assemblies, the DAG and Africa Group are seeking
a General
            Assembly Decision to reinforce full implementation of the CDIP
mandates.

          In further interventions on the agenda item on the CDIP
developing countries
            also highlighted other concerns such as the slow pace of
discussions 
            on proposals to reform the WIPO technical assistance submitted
by 
            the DAG and Africa Group, the lack of consensus on the
Conference 
            on IP and Development, and the need for the WIPO Global
Challenges 
            Division to report to the CDIP on its activities.

          In 2007 the General Assembly adopted 45 recommendations on the
Development
            Agenda (DA) and established a dedicated committee to implement
those 
            recommendations. The decision gave the CDIP three mandates:
(1) develop 
            a work-program for implementation of the adopted
recommendations; 
            (2) monitor, assess, discuss and report on the implementation
of all 
            recommendations adopted, and for that purpose it shall
coordinate 
            with relevant WIPO bodies; and (3) discuss intellectual
property and 
            development related issues as agreed by the Committee, as well
as 
            those decided by the General Assembly.

          To implement the second mandate, in 2010 the General Assembly
adopted
            ³Coordination Mechanisms and Monitoring, Assessing and
Reporting Modalities²
            (Coordination Mechanism) which require ³relevant WIPO bodies²
to annually 
            report on their contribution to the implementation of DA
Recommendations.

          However, implementation of the second mandate has been hampered
by the reluctance
            of Group B (composed of developed countries) to require the
Committee 
            on WIPO Standards and the Program and Budget Committee to be
considered 
            as ³relevant WIPO bodies² for purposes of reporting as
required by 
            the Coordination Mechanism.

          Developed countries have also opposed implementation of the
third mandate of
            the 2007 General Assembly Decision. In 2010, the DAG submitted
a written 
            proposal (CDIP/6/12 Rev.) to include in the CDIP a standing
agenda 
            item on ³IP and development-related issues².  In the paper,
the 
            DAG said it was open as to what subjects may be discussed
under the 
            agenda item. Group B has not only opposed the DAG proposal,
but also 
            attempted to remove the proposal from the agenda of the CDIP.

          Views on Development Agenda Implementation

          Brazil on behalf of the DAG said that after six years, the
implementation
            of the DA has seen good progress but ³much remains to be done
and 
            more could be expected². It added that the ³full
implementation of 
            the Development Agenda depends specially on a cultural change
within 
            WIPO as well as in the framing of intellectual property
issues².

          Brazil also called on WIPO members ³to renew their commitment to
the full
            implementation of the 45 DA recommendations and of the
mandates and 
            decisions already approved in that regard². It noted with
concern 
            that neither the mandate of the CDIP nor the mandate of the
coordination 
            mechanism, both adopted by the General Assembly, are being
fully implemented 
            although they constitute basic tools for the effective
mainstreaming 
            of the Development Agenda.

          It stressed that the different views of Members on the mandates
are clear,
            but they are not leading us to a satisfactory solution and
that the 
            situation ³has been impeding the full implementation of
decisions 
            taken by the General Assembly, negatively affecting
predictability 
            and the confidence among Members and ultimately amounting to
an institutional 
            problem².

          Brazil further highlighted that the need to revise WIPO
technical cooperation
            has already been recognized, stressing that concrete results
on the 
            review of WIPO¹s technical assistance is one of the major
contributions 
            the CDIP can give to the implementation of the DA.

          [In 2012, the DAG and Africa Group submitted a Joint Proposal to
reform
            WIPO¹s technical assistance (CDIP/9/16), taking forward
recommendations 
            of an External Review of WIPO¹s technical assistance in 2010.
However 
            in the CDIP, Group B has hindered adoption of the DAG/Africa
Group 
            proposals.]

          Brazil also expressed regret over the adjournment of the
Conference on IP
            and Development due to a lack of consensus among Member States
but 
            added that it remains a very important initiative to allow
Members 
            to thoroughly review the implementation of the Development
Agenda.

          Algeria, on behalf of the Africa Group, referred to the DA and
the CDIP as
            the greatest achievement of WIPO adding that it is the vision
of the 
            international IP system that needs to be adapted. It added
that WIPO 
            could do better than the thematic projects being undertaken to
implement 
            DA recommendations.

          Algeria also said that discussions on development issues are not
as they were.
            They are long way from the enthusiasm expressed from the
earlier years, 
            Algeria added. ³We are losing momentum. The consensus on the
projects 
            is becoming difficult and it is difficult to exert real
activities², 
            it said, further adding, ³We don't think that development
should be 
            assigned to secondary importance².

          It stressed on the need for a ³real forum² to discuss the IP and
development
            linkage, referring to the 3rd mandate of the CDIP; for WIPO
members 
            to be more involved in activities of the WIPO Division on
Global Challenges 
            and for effective implementation of the coordination
mechanism. 

          [The WIPO Global Challenges Division operates without any
substantive oversight
            or input by Member States over its activities in relation to
the interface 
            of IP with food, climate change and public health.]

          India said it supported the adoption of African Group/DAG
proposals on technical
            assistance.

            Iran said it attached great importance to the mainstreaming of
DA. 
            It stressed that technical assistance should not be
interpreted narrowly
            as merely promoting the IP system, adding that the idea is to
reconcile 
            the cause of development with that of IP protection and
identify areas 
            of potential contradiction. It added that the rationale of the
DA 
            necessitates the finding of policies that aim to implement the
right 
            to development, including promoting access to knowledge,
reducing 
            the knowledge gap, enlarging public domain and preventing
misappropriation 
            of genetic resources, traditional knowledge and traditional
cultural 
            expressions.

            Egypt stressed that the completion of DA projects should not
be seen 
            as the end of the DA recommendations.  It also noted that the
            Committee on WIPO Standards and the Program and Budget
Committee, 
            two major committees had not submitted their reports on the
³Description 
            of the Contribution of the Relevant WIPO Bodies to the
Implementation 
            of the Respective Development Agenda Recommendations².  It
called 
            on the Secretariat to improve the reporting by Committees on
their 
            contribution on the DA, stressing that merely reproducing the
statements 
            of Member States is not enough.

            Egypt also called for the inclusion of a standing agenda item
on IP 
            and development in CDIP; implementation of the recommendations
of 
            the proposals on technical assistance; and for CDIP oversight
of the 
            activities of the Global Challenges Division of WIPO.
            Belgium, on behalf of Group B, spoke of its commitment to the
development 
            agenda adding that the 45 DA recommendations should be
gradually implemented
            in an appropriate, balanced and consensual driven manner.

          On technical assistance, it said that the recommendations of the
External
            Review on technical assistance had already been implemented or
were 
            in the process of implementation, stressing on ³maximizing
efficiency², 
            improving internal and external coordination, ³lessons learnt
and 
            best practices² as the way forward.

          On the issue of ³ relevant bodies² for the purposes of assessing
contribution
            to the DA implementation, Group B said that the WIPO bodies
themselves 
            should deem whether they are relevant adding that neither the
Committee 
            on WIPO Standards and the Program and Budget Committee are
relevant 
            as the former deals with non-binding technical standards while
the 
            latter deals with the financial underpinnings of WIPO, and
³thus neither 
            have relation to development².

          According to a developing country delegate, in the CDIP
sessions, Group B had
            created obstacles to adoption of proposals contained in the
DAG/Africa 
            Group paper on technical assistance to improve the
transparency and 
            accountability of WIPO¹s technical assistance.  The delegate
            also explained that the IP and Development Conference was
postponed 
            as no agreement could be reach on the list of speakers.

          A representative from Djibouti read a statement from Ambassador
Mohamed
            Siad Doualeh in his capacity as the chair of the CDIP. The
ambassador 
            said that there was no doubt that the DA was among the most
important 
            issue discussed in WIPO, adding that while there had been
progress, 
            ³on many occasions the issue tends to draw diverse positions².
The 
            statement referred to the Conference on IP and Development
which was 
            supposed to be held before the CDIP session in November but
was postponed 
            due to differences among delegations.

          The Ambassador¹s statement added that the DA ³while once
perceived by
            some as an unnecessary destruction will in fact be the vehicle
for 
            lasting change in IP system where countries hold a shared
vision of 
            the IP system².

          The statement stressed that the next session of the CDIP will be
discussing
            important issues such as the external review of implementation
of 
            the WIPO DA and the convening of the IP and development
conference.

          Third World Network (TWN), an NGO observer, said the development
agenda
            is the result of a Member Sates-driven process, with
recommendations 
            adopted on the basis of consensus, adding that implementation
however 
            is slow and often projected as a stand alone program.

          It said that although revamping WIPO¹s technical assistance
program to
            address the development concerns is an important pillar of the
DA 
            recommendations, there is no notable improvement in this
regard. For 
            instance, the technical assistance of WIPO to draw up national
IP 
            strategies in developing countries ignores key development
concerns 
            and often advocates for IP aximalist positions, it added.

          TWN called for the approval of the proposals contained in the
DAG/Africa
            Group paper on technical assistance, to develop systems of
accountability 
            and transparency in the implementation of technical assistance.

          It also cautioned the WIPO Secretariat against using innovation
and intellectual
            property as interchangeable concepts to promote the idea that
IP is 
            necessary for innovation. The TWN representative stressed that
innovation 
            often takes place in the absence of intellectual property
protection.

          TWN also urged that the review of the implementation of the DA
recommendations,
            which is due at the end of this year should be carried out by
a panel 
            of independent experts specializing in IP and development
issues and 
            urged WIPO Member States to finalize the Terms of Reference
and independent 
            experts in the upcoming CDIP meeting in November in order to
carry 
            out the review in timely manner.

          *With inputs from Alexandra Bhattacharya
        






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