[Ip-health] Statement of Brazil to the 48th General Assembly of WIPO, September 2010
thiru at keionline.org
Tue Sep 21 14:41:41 PDT 2010
The Permanent Representative of Brazil, Roberto Azevedo, delivered the
following statement to the 48th session of the WIPO General Assembly.
The intervention was delivered in Portuguese; below is the English
GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF WIPO
Statement Delivered by the Permanent Representative of Brazil,
Ambassador Roberto Azevedo
Let me start by congratulating you on the excellent job you have been
doing in conducting the work of WIPO's General Assembly.
Let me also extend my thanks and appreciation for the Director-General
Francis Gurry, and, through him, for all the work undertaken by all
members of the Secretariat of WIPO.
Last year was the first time that I addressed the General Assembly in
the capacity of Brazil's Permanent Representative. On that occasion, I
voiced my conviction that it would be in the interest of all member
States to preserve the role of WIPO as the key multilateral body in
charge of setting rules and principles on intellectual property matters.
By reiterating the same message today, I cannot fail to observe that
the institutional strengthening of WIPO has gained even more momentum
and relevance since then. A multilateral agency of the UN system, a
forum that gathers around 140 countries, an organization whose
deliberations are increasingly more transparent, with an active
participation by representatives of both the private sector and civil
society, WIPO can count on the indispensable credentials of
legitimacy, "expertise" and inclusion to take a leading role in the
debates on the evolution of the international system of intellectual
Legitimacy, "expertise" and a culture of inclusion are pre-requisites
for ensuring the effectiveness of any new international rule. Without
those three elements, these norms will not be applicable to, nor
enforced in relevant economic spaces that today constitute the dynamic
centre of the world economy.
That is why all member States should strive to maintain WIPO at the
centre of intellectual property "rule making". This would also entail
agreeing on intergovernmental mandates to the complex talks under way
in different fora on the interplay between intellectual property, on
the one hand, and public health, climate change and food security, on
The approval of the Development Agenda in 2007 was aimed at extending
the benefits of the intellectual property system to all countries,
especially those that are still to reap fully the promised benefits of
the system. Countries in that country, it is worth recalling, are not
limited to developing ones.
The Development Agenda has added a new dimension to this Organization
that calls for empirical learning methods and flexible implementation
methodologies, in addition to budgetary resources commensurate with
The Development Agenda demands furthermore a change in WIPO's
organizational culture, a change that must also be extended to the
atmosphere in which intergovernmental negotiating processes take
place. It is necessary to leave behind defensive postures that are
associated with mutual mistrust. The Development Agenda is meant to
fill an important void in the system of intellectual property, bring
to it a higher balance.
WIPO provides rights holders as well as member countries with relevant
services. But the role of WIPO is not limited to that of a provider of
services. An agency of the UN system must comply with the wider goals
of the United Nations, in particular the promotion of development and
of the millennium development goals.
Those wider goals are the cornerstone of the creation, earlier this
year, of the Development Agenda Group (DAG), of which Brazil is one of
the founding members. The DAG will be coordinated by Brazil after the
In around five months, the DAG has consolidated itself as an open
grouping of countries, willing to engage in dialogue as wells as
capable of promoting consensus on matters that have positioned
development as a key component in this Organization.
Changes of such magnitude and depth require time and willingness to
We are fully aware that a lot remains to be done. Yet, some
developments that have taken place over the past 12 months may be
taken as an indication that we are on the right track.
We have managed to approve, within the CDIP, a mechanism for
coordination, monitoring and assessment of the implementation of the
We have also reached tangible progress in the process of reform and
improvement of the Patent Cooperation Treaty.
We have deepened and accelerated, at the IGC, the negotiating process
of one or more legal instruments aimed at the protection of genetic
resources, traditional knowledge, and folklore.
We have developed the concept of respect for intellectual property.
That concept implies a broader and more complex approach to dealing
with enforcement-related issues.
We have intensified, at the SCCR, the process of talks that may lead
to the resumption of negotiations of a treaty for the protection of
audio-visual performances, as well as of the debate on exceptions and
limitations on copyrights.
Within that context, as is well known, Brazil along with Ecuador,
Mexico and Paraguay, - and backed by a significant number of countries
representing a broad array of social realities - has been working
towards the recognition of the effective and socially binding
solutions to improve access to knowledge for persons with print
Our proposal must be seen against an international legal framework for
copyrights that is deeply consolidated and tested in more than a
century of effective implementation.
Furthermore, we have been working - the four countries sponsoring a
draft treaty for copyright exceptions to visually impaired - in close
coordination with NGOs with relevant and concrete experience in
dealing with the everyday challenges faced by the visually impaired,
in particular the World Blind Union.
Brazil remains optimistic about prospects for real negotiations on the
matter, which will ultimately represent a test to gauge the capacity
of WIPO to contribute to the strengthening of the UN values and to the
realization of Millennium Development Goals.
We must work towards a true convergence of international governance in
the fields of human rights and intellectual property, thereby giving
concrete expressions to principles of coexistence that guides us while
at the same time keeping our feet firmly on the ground.
We hope to be able to conclude, in as short as possible a time frame,
a treaty at WIPO that might be what Stevie Wonder referred to
yesterday, at the opening session, as a "declaration of freedom" for
the blind to the extent that it will allow for better access to
Brazil will continue, in a nutshell, to be giving its substantive
contribution, individually or together with other member countries,
and in the different bodies and committees of WIPO, such as the
Advisory Committee on Enforcement or the Standing Committee on
Patents, where we have tabled written submissions over the past twelve
In concluding, I would like to welcome the establishment, within the
Secretariat, of units devoted to in-depth economic analysis and to the
implementation of the Development Agenda, as part of the strategic
realignment pursued by the Director General.
Brazil, like other countries that may be said to belong to that
category of "late comers" to the knowledge economy, has a good deal to
gain from an informed reflection on the impact of intellectual
property on the different dimensions of development policies, based on
sophisticated empirical evidence.
With that in mind, Brazil has hosted earlier this year a meeting of
economists who are experts on intellectual property. The meeting was
organized by WIPO and its chief economist, Carsten Fink.
Knowledge Ecology International (KEI)
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