WIPO General Assembly discussions on the Development Agenda
The majority of delegations indicated their support of a renewal of the PCDA process but it remained to be seen how the modalities (eg. how the solution should be structure) were implemented into a Decision. The Chair is expected to announce a Decision this either today or tomorrow.
Day 2, 26 September 2006
Notes taken by:
Thiru Balasubramaniam, thiru at cptech dot org, Consumer Project on Technology [TB]
Teresa Hackett, teresa.hackett at eifl dot net, Electronic Information for Libraries [TH]
Ren Buchholz, ren at eff dot org, Electronic Frontier Foundation [RB]
[NOTE: This is not an official transcript. It's our best effort at providing a faithful set of notes of the proceedings. Any errors and omissions are unintentional and regretted.]
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Ambassador Rigoberto Gauto of Paraguay was elected chair.
The PCDA did not reach any consensus on a recommendation for consideration to this General Assembly.
On September 26, 2006 there was a proposal made by Kyrgyzstan.
Chair: We are faced with a situation where the PCDA was unable to reach a decision on how to proceed.
The fundamental issue is the basic one i.e. how can we proceed. I hope that our interventions can focus on this particular point and refrain from discussing the number of proposals on the table. Our task is not to address the 111 proposals but how to proceed on this issue.
How should we carry forward our work on this matter. Member States have the right to express their views on this subject.
Paraguay (Ambassador Rigoberto Gauto Vielman): Thank you to MS for honouring me with the chairmanship of both PCDA sessions.
PCDA met on two occasions this year. Bearing in mind that no consensus was able to be reached, a factual report was prepared.
I have held many consultations with delegations. My impression is that significant progress has been made. I hope that the best decisions can be made to adopt a DA programme.
Finally I would like to thank delegations who took part in the meeting of the DA and the Secretariat and support staff given to me during my chairmanship Muktar Jumaliyev (Ambassador of Kyrgyzstan) the Vice Chair.
India (Secretary Ajay Dua): This is one of the most important items for us in this meeting.
The debate on the DA started about two years ago.
While these discussions have shed much light, unfortunately we have not covered much ground.
We have two considerations:
1. The process to be adopted hereafter
2. The content thereof
1. There is no doubt that discussions must continue in a focussed and streamlined manner. We need to set clear guidelines for tangible results. We suggest that the GA decides on extending the mandate of the PCDA for another one year within which we can have two to three sessions.
In the first session, plan of action with phased proposals. We emphatically state that the Development Agenda should be accepted as a package.
2. We are faced with considering 111 proposals. However, when we sift through these proposals, we can combine proposals and eliminate repetitive items.
We have already clustered the proposals. All we have to do is carry out the above proposals for each cluster, coming up with about 25 proposals. All the aspects of the proposals should be studied by external experts in the field.
In short, we should adopt a scientific approach. There is a lot at stake and we have to succeed. We have to restore the balance where it it is believed that it has been distorted.
If we are able to install a robust development agenda, we can restore balance in the IP system.
Argentina (Ambassador Dumont): On behalf of GFOD, we have made substantial comments so I will not rehash them here.
There is no doubt that this exercise was as fruitful as we expected.
To some extent, we are all rather disappointed at the outcome. However, all delegations that took the floor yesterday highlighted the importance of the issue. There has been a constant overlapping of procedure and substance. I don't know if this has assisted us in the process.
In PCDA/2/2 we compiled the proposal in order to simplify analysis.
We understand Group B's request for clarity. We are open to consultations to see how we can make progress here.
UK (Ambassador of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland):
We are well known to be development friendly. We are conscious of the lack of progress in this area while trade and development has been stalled in this town.
As mentioned by India and Argentina, we should endeavour to make a serious effort to make a roadmap of the plethora of worthwhile proposals submitted. I recall that some of us spent half the morning in a useful seminar with DG of UNCTAD to adopt a more forward looking and constructive approach with other organisations in this town.
Croatia (on behalf of central Europe and Baltic States): We agree that WIPO's role in development should be re-considered.
We recognize that IP is only part of the solution.
Our countries appreciate the work of WIPO so far in order for IP to become a tool for development, to promote research, technology transfer and to stimulate innovation. Our group has been supportive of the process, in a way that does not go beyond the mandate of WIPO. Some achievements have been made but the process remains blocked. Good will and readiness to compromise would have bridged our differences.
We support further discussions on the DA. We believe there are certain proposals that are ready for an early harvest.
The rest of the proposals should be discussed during future meetings. We believe that the chairman's proposals during the 2nd meeting are a basis for our future work. NOTE: there were no chairman's proposals from this meeting.
Our disappointment is amplified by a feeling that the solution is within reach.
Kyrgyzstan: For us and for other members, matters for a DA is very important and
topical for all countries regardless of their economic and social development. It cannot be restricted to certain areas such as technical assistance. We commend the activities of WIPO for assisting developing countries.
We support a constructive step by step approach and unremitting in its search for a solution.
Kyrgyzstan played an active part in the two PCDA's.
Kyrgyzstan endorses the work of the committee that was done under its mandate.
There is a need to renew the DA.
Guiding principle to take into account all proposals that have been made. We all wish to move forward on this. We have submitted a draft decision of the WIPO GA in WO/GA/33/G9
We think technical assistance would also involve capacity building.
We consider that all proposals must be carefully examined and disseminated.
1st paragraph. This committee will replace the PCIPD during its existence.
2nd para: 2 sessions in 2007
3rd para: report to GA in 2007 with recommendations for a DA
Indonesia: I reiterate the importance of the DA. This is a significant milestone to enable MS to implement IP that respects their stage of development.
My delegation still sees a wide space for all MS to move forward despite differences. Many delegations have expressed their willingness to support the process.
The GA should provide the PCDA with clear guidance to enable substantive discussion.
It is hoped that the PCDA would able to organize its work in a more efficient fashion. All proposals identified in the previous PCDA meetings should be included.
Streamlining the proposals should ensure that no proposals are excluded.
There should be an informal open ended consultation preceded before the PCDAs involving all stakeholders to serve as a confidence building measure. This would be followed by a formal meeting of the PCDA.
Nigeria (on behalf of the African Group):
We attach great importance to this particular agenda item.
All that needs to be said has been spelt out in previous meetings. What matters now is to embark on a course of action. Many of our members have introduced substantive proposals. The reasons are obvious and manifest.
We should agree on a targeting work programme on the DA.
The AG submitted an 8 point program for the GA. This was submitted in the general statement predicated upon careful assessment and driven by collective desire to make progress. It was devised following wide ranging consultations with civil society and other stakeholders. All 111 proposals should be discussed objectively and comprehensively.
None of the proposals should be ignored. There should be a rational approach to discussing the 111 proposals.
We have called for a renewal of the mandate of the PCDA.
We are gratified to hear such calls being reiterated by other MS in this august assembly. We are strongly recommending that this renewal option should be the only option to be considered by this assembly. We reserve the right to return to this issue.
This proposal is a matter for strategy for any organization. We are very committed to the agenda for WIPO.
We are very committed to the idea of a DA for WIPO. We have a DA ourselves within our own planning system. All countries have to shoulder some responsibility for their own development, taking into account their resources.
The PCDA mandate should be renewed to move forward.
We fully support what has been stated by the Ambassador of Argentina (on behalf of the GFOD).
The DA was launched in the GA of 2004.
The DA is the most important agenda item in WIPO for the Brazilian govt. We know there are frustrations that we were not able to arrive at an agreement. We however have a positive view from listening to the general statements.
We see that practically all the membership have taken ownership of the DA and have expressed the desire to move forward.
The DA has already generated a change of culture in the attitude of members and the response of the Secretariat to proposals. We have identified a series of concerns in WIPO program and budget, and we have already perceived changes in the air that we believe is a direct consequence of discussions on a DA.
We would like to thank Amb. Gauto (Paraguay) for his efforts.
We would like to reiterate Amb Dumont (Argentina)'s comment that PCDA/2/2 is a good basis to proceed. It was an effort by the GFOD to streamline the 111 proposals.
However, we think it's important to refer to the broader documents WO/GA/31/11, IIM, PCDA/1/5 and PCDA/2/2.
If we simply look at the list of 111 proposal, one would not understand or comprehend the purpose or context.
We also refer to the many interventions at this GA on the DA e.g. Indonesia that show a clear support for a renewal of the process. Also interventions of developed countries such as the UK which indicates a very development friendly attitude by a developed country and willingness to accept the challenge of rethinking the attitude of the IP system in how it can reflect different levels of development.
I would like to refer to a question often asked by the DG of WIPO when he visits countries.
"What can I do for you"? We should move this DA forward. It's an all encompassing initiative.
DG Idris: We shall certainly engage and push. I appeal to you to lift the trust deficit with the Secretariat on this item. I am personally committed to make this process a success. But we need consensus and a mutual understanding of all delegations and constituencies.
Finland (behalf of the European Communities and Bulgaria and Romania):
WIPO has an integral role in incorporating development. We regret that the PCDA could not agree on recommendations, although there was support for the chairman's compromise proposals.
We look forward to the discussions of the DA and will engage in constructive spirit.
Particular importance should be attached to the Kyrgyz proposal.
What is our opinion of the DA? Is this a program. This cannot be settled over two years.
This is an issue that was dealt with in other agencies via a negotiating process. This is work in progress that can be sorted out in two years or reduced to a single document or programme. We are facing a global economy which is knowledge based. This is why it is important that WIPO deals with development issues. This is an issue that in our century requires ongoing dialogue. Apart from para 3 of the Kyrgystans proposal, it embodies the philosophy that we should be adopting. It cannot be seen as the property of a given region, country or group.
Development has to be seen as a commitment entered to by all MS.
We do not want to create a committee that has endless discussions.
The PC should report back to the assembly.
Pakistan: The DA is an issue of importance to all countries regardless of the level of development.
We believe that in this GA, we should agree on procedure rather than going into minute details.
We need a clear direction.
Cuba: We support Argentina's statement (on behalf of GFOD). We want to renew the mandate of the PCDA. Development should be part of the work dimensions of this body.
China: We have noted the cooperative spirit of discussion on the DA. It is an important topic of concern. Global economic integration is becoming stronger. Trade, technology and investment have bound countries together in an interdependent network.
At previous meetings the Chinese delegation has noted the insightful views put forth by all MS. The Chinese delegation agrees with the proposals of the Asia group and K.
It would provide a permanent forum for all parties to search for an approach to solve the development issue. As the specialised agency of the UN, WIPO has the ability to explore paths that can be adopted by developing countries. We welcome the views and undertakes to actively participate in discussions.
Chair: We have one hour and 10 speakers so I would please urge speakers to be brief.
We would like to endorse the FOD statement. We agree that we should renew the mandate of the PCDA. Discussion should include all proposals submitted. Document PCDA/2/2 would be a good basis for discussion.
Japan: We have been promoting IP in a development oriented and pragmatic manner.
For example, Japan provides $ 2.5 million in assistance to developing countries. We have invited IP head offices from developing countries and hosted empirical research for IP and economic development
Tanzania (Khamis Suedi, former employee of WIPO): We extend our congratulations and sympathies to the Ambassador of Paraguay for chairing the two meetings of the DA. It is becoming clear that during the two sessions there was no consensus possible. We have witnessed a plethora of individual proposals. Without doubt, development is critical to peoples. We cannot be questioned on our commitment to development, but we need to be realistic about what we want to pursue. The greatest success is the fact that there has been dialogue. We
The greatest success has been dialogue.
The mandate of the committee should be extended. All the proposals should be given consideration
I am from a developing country, an LDC, so no-one can question my credentials I would like to raise a word of caution. If I understood the Ambassador of the UK, UNCTAD is looking at its role with regard to development. Development is mandate of UNCTAD but when I see what is happening at UNCTAD, we must be careful in what we ask for.
We should all cry for development but we need to be guided by the historical realities of what we have entered. This organisation was involved in the revision of the Paris Convention but in the end it went elsewhere.
We should be careful of politicizing this issue.
Chair: There are now 12 countries on my list. I know it is an important item and everyone wants to speak. Please be concise in your statements. Unless you really have to, please take the floor.
1. Clear course of action.
2. Methodology must be agreed by the majority of members to preserve the inclusiveness of the proposals.
We should focus on how to proceed. We recognize as other MS have stated, that this could be a difficult exercise but we don't really have another option.
This is a huge task but nothing is compared if we want to put into practice inclusiveness and transparency.
We need to recognize the efforts made by Amb. Gauto. We believe that development is *the* main challenge of this century in order to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. We are so pleased to see that WIPO has taken up this challenge.
All members are committed to directing the work of WIPO on a result oriented basis. As regards development, we need to give it pride of place in our work.
Development concerns can't be whittled down to a mere document. PCDA/2/2.
A true DA needs to target structural aspects.
We fully support the statement of the Republic of Argentina.
Morocco: I would like to endorse statement by African Group.
We have not yet managed to achieve anything on this issue. We have to face up to our collective responsibility.
We *need* flexibility.
I believe that those who participated in the trademark treaty negotiations will know that we were only successful because we were flexible. Let me congratulate Amb. Gafoor for his adept chairing and hosting the conference.
The negotiations that have gone on for two years have made certain things clear, that all delegations attach paramount importance to this topic.
We support renewing the mandate of the PCDA.
We must take a realistic inclusive approach.
Development is the touchstone of our Kingdom's polices.
We would like WIPO to integrate the Development Agenda. We do have LDCs, small island economies and more advanced developing countries. We identify with the statement of the African Group. We can make incremental and measurable progress. We must show results.
We align ourselves with Argentina, Nigeria and all the positions that MS have made to further the work of the development agenda.
SA would like to make clear that we want to see a balanced approach and we would like to extend the PCDA for 3-4 more sessions. TA is not the only thing related to the DA. Norm setting must be taken into account.
I associate myself with the statement of Argentina. International cooperation for development has been recognized more than ever. It has had positive achievements in WIPO. We need a structured framework for continuation of the debate.
The extension oft he PCDA can provide a space for the discussion of substantive and procedural concerns.
We support Argentina.
Simplification and streamlining should be handled for care.
Development is not just a need, it is a demand from the FOD countries.
There have been many practical suggestions on this file. We should concentrate our efforts on the pragmatic areas where progress can be achieved.
We are having an effective discussion here and taking a consensus approach.
References detailed statement of yesterday's statement on DA and offers support for the statement of Kyrgyzstan the leader of their regional group.
We endorse what was said by Argentina. The mandate of the PCDA should be renewed.
Bearing in mind the MDGs, development issues must be incorporated into WIPO's program.
We restate what was said yesterday. We need to renew the mandate of the PCDA to continue discussing the 111 proposals. We will closely scrutinise the K proposal.
We are also keen to hear the African Group.
We recognise that the PCDA process has been encouraging. It is a mistake if we contemplate on whether to continue the process or not. It would be a wrong signal if this house does not provide a forum to allow the process to work.
We therefore support in full the statement of Nigeria, which was put forward on behalf of the African group.
We restate our commitment to these proposals. The documents submitted are very valuable as is the experience we have accumulated in this and previous forums (i.e. IIM). This is in following with the goal of main-streaming development issues when it comes to IP.
It is important that the GA can adopt recommendations on the scope of the DA. We support the renewal of the PCDA's mandate and the statement of Argentina this afternoon.
United States (Joyce Winchel NAMDE, State Department):
We, like many other delegations, are disappointed that MS have been unable to reach consensus on concrete results.
At the 2nd PCDA, all 111 proposals were discussed and remain on the table.
We welcomed doc PCD 2-3 as it offered a possible way forward and had gained substantial support.
The US remains committed to identifying proposals that will focus WIPO's work on IP and development We agree with Croatia that a forced agenda for WIPO will not work.
The proposal put forward by Kyrgystan may offer the most promising short-term path towards result. We believe an orderly procedure is required if we are to reach an outcome.
Those proposals that do not presently enjoy consensus may in time garner support. But we do not see the latter possibility as a reason not to achieve results in the short term.
We support Indonesia's suggestion to have an informal pre-PCDA meeting before each assembly in order to facilitate more progress.
Without agreement and simply extending the mandate of the PCDA may lead to the same result as the previous PCDAs.
Chair: Thanks everyone and says that 33 delegations took the floor, which shows the development agenda's importance.
It is quite clear that all delegations favour a continuation of the process. The only place where there were slight nuances were where to continue and in what form.
I am not in any position to come up with a concrete solution at this stage but there remain certain elements to be crafted with respect to the appropriate forum, the mandate, tangible results.
I am quite heartened by the fact that many of these items were touched upon by all delegations.
I propose suspending consideration in the plenary of this item.
At some time, perhaps as early as tomorrow, I'd like to have some open-ended, informal discussions to see if we can put some kind of agreed text forward. On that basis, let's see if we can come up with an agreed text to address this issue.
Written proposals are welcome. I will not say yet how we will conduct the informal meetings tomorrow. Some time tomorrow an announcement will be made about open ended informal consultations.
A point of clarification. Is the document submitted by Kyrgyzstan the basis for these open ended discussion?
Chair: I've been approached by other countries as well, so I'm not sure what the path for progress will be. If I get many proposals, I will perhaps combine some common elements and these may form the basis of discussions.
I now suspend consideration of this item in plenary.
I request Switzerland to report back on their consultations for the rewording of the decision of Agenda item 6.
This can be seen in paragraph C
Note: reference revised text circulated for adoption.
Para b) "engage with Member States and the Audit Committee"...
Chair: I would like to put the revised text before the GA for adoption.
We need further clarification with our group before proceeding further.
Chair: Of course, and I hope that you can report after that that you agree.
We will hold this text in abeyance.
Good news: We will have a night session at 7:45 PM.
Switzerland: Group B at 8.30
Nigeria: African Group at 9.00
Kyrgystan: group meeting at 9.30
Chair: meeting adjourned at 17.55