[Ip-health] Statement of Group B in WIPO General Assembly

Thirukumaran Balasubramaniam thiru at keionline.org
Wed Oct 3 01:50:10 PDT 2012


World Intellectual Property Organization
50th Series of Meetings of the WIPO Assemblies
Group B Opening Statement
October 1, 2012


Chair, we all acknowledge that WIPO is quite different than most other UN organs and specialized agencies – in both form and function.  With approximately ninety-three percent of WIPO’s income derived from fees paid by businesses, including SMEs, seeking to protect their intellectual property, Group B believes that these businesses should be involved more in what the Organization does, or at least better informed.  One way in which to achieve this is to capitalize on the broad gathering of the General Assembly, and allow those businesses to participate in a meaningful way.  While we are not considering a radical transformation of the established practice, Group B proposes that one day be set aside at next year’s General Assembly devoted to fostering a more inclusive approach to industry relations.    Group B members would welcome the opportunity to work with the Secretariat and other Member States in designing such an event.


Chair, Members of Group B have raised concerns about longstanding deficiencies in the design, transparency and accountability of WIPO’s technical assistance activities in countries subject to U.N. Security Council sanctions.  We welcome the recent steps taken by the Organization to redress these problems and prevent them from happening in the future.  We acknowledge that the recently released Independent External Review Report and the relevant sanctions committees concluded that WIPO did not violate UNSC Sanctions.  However, as in all areas, we encourage WIPO to continue to engage with Member states to improve transparency and accountability in relation to its technical assistance activities, particularly those in Members subject to U.N. Security Council sanctions, and to seriously consider the Independent External Review Report recommendations.


By far, the greatest achievement this year was the successful conclusion of the Beijing Treaty for the Protection of Audio Visual Performances.  I personally had the pleasure of attending the diplomatic conference and witnessed the atmosphere of collegiality and the desire of reaching consensus to solve problems facing an important constituency in the creative sector.  I am not sure who coined the phrase “the Spirit of Beijing”, but we all hoped at the close of the conference that it would somehow make its way back to Geneva.  I still have hope that it is here, and that it will guide us through the myriad of challenges before us.  Chair, I note your comments on the blockage facing the Organization, but am convinced that we can clear the path for progress.  One challenge in particular is the much overdue conclusion of our work addressing the needs of the visually impaired and those with print disabilities.  Group B is firmly committed to continue the dialogue and work constructively with other delegations to a positive end.  On the subject of a treaty for the protection of broadcasting organizations, Group B is similarly committed to engaging with other delegations to make headway on this very important issue.

Group B looks forward to progress on the Design Law Treaty toward an early convening of a diplomatic conference.


Thiru Balasubramaniam
Geneva Representative
Knowledge Ecology International (KEI)

thiru at keionline.org

Tel: +41 22 791 6727
Mobile: +41 76 508 0997

More information about the Ip-health mailing list