[Ip-health] IGC28: African Group Statement on Convening a Diplomatic Conference for the Protection of Genetic Resources, TK and folklore

Thiru Balasubramaniam thiru at keionline.org
Thu Jul 10 02:31:21 PDT 2014


On 9 July 2014, Kenya, on behalf of the African Group, delivered the
following closing statement articulating its view that substantial progress
had been made in text-based negotiations on genetic resources, traditional
knowledge and folklore for the WIPO General Assembly in September 2014 to
take a decision to convene a Diplomatic Conference in November 2015. The
African Group's proposal for a work plan is also attached; however, because
Group B, the European Union and the Central European and Baltic States
(CEBS) group did not feel that the texts were sufficiently mature, the
General Assembly in September 2014 will need to take a decision on the
future of WIPO's work to protect against the misappropriation of genetic
resources, traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions.


Thank you Mr. Chairman for giving me the floor.

Kenya has the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the African

The African Group notes that substantial progress has been made in all the
three texts to enable this committee to make a recommendation to the
General Assembly in September 2014 to convene a Diplomatic Conference in

The current mandate of the IGC calls upon this committee to submit to the
2014 General Assembly the text(s) of an international legal instrument(s)
which will ensure the effective protection of GRs, TK and TCEs. Further,
with the view to finalize the text(s) within the biennium, the General
Assembly in 2014 will take stock of and consider the text(s), progress made
and decide on convening a Diplomatic Conference and will consider the need
for additional meetings, taking account of the budgetary process.

The Group has remained constructive both in the plenary and informal
consultations and is committed to concluding our work as per the mandate.

The Group also notes that the mandate calls us to finalize the text(s) of
international legal instrument(s) within the biennium. We note that the
mandate of the IGC is not an open mandate but a closed one which requires
renewal every biennium.
In this regard, the current mandate will end in August 2015, before the
next General Assembly in September 2015 and therefore we cannot take a
decision beyond the mandate we have.

It is for this reason that the African Group is of the firm view that any
decision this committee will take has to be confined within the ambit of
the current mandate.

>From a logical and sequential perspective therefore, the first issue we
need to deal with as a committee is to take stock so as to be able to
assess the progress we have achieved in the texts. Stock taking is a
critical exercise as it will clearly show us where we have consensus and
the areas where we have difficulties. This will help to inform our future
work and also refocus our energies and give us a clear picture of the work
which will need to be undertaken and the amount of time which will be
required to take us to a logical conclusion of work.

Based on the results of the stock taking exercise, this committee will be
in a position to take the necessary steps to conclude our work in an
objective and purposeful manner.

In this regard, the African Group is of the view that the texts are mature
and would like to make the following recommendation and propose a work
program to the General Assembly:

Convene a Diplomatic Conference in 2015 and provide for three sessions, and
a possible fourth inter-sessional meeting, to further refine the text in
advance of the Diplomatic Conference. The session will follow a clearly
defined work plan as set out in the program which will be submitted to the
secretariat in writing (attached).

Basically, we envisage a Diplomatic Conference in November 2015 and the
work program will be geared towards achieving this goal.

I thank you."

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