Education International
Education International

Developing countries frustrated by slow progress at WIPO

published 8 June 2012 updated 8 June 2012

A group of developing countries is calling on the World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO) to step up efforts to fully implement the Development Agenda adopted in 2007.

Several delegates attending WIPO’s Committee on Development and Intellectual Property (CDIP) meeting last month decried what they claimed was the slow pace of progress to date. The Development Agenda, composed of 45 recommendations, was intended to integrate a development dimension across all WIPO activities and to better ensure that global rules and agreements provide sufficient flexibilities allowing countries to achieve their development goals. WIPO Director General Francis Gurry addressed the CDIP to review the work that has been accomplished to date. “As a consequence of collective efforts of the secretariat and the member states we now see that mainstreaming [of development issues] is taking effect,” Gurry said. However, Gurry also admitted that full implementation will be an “enormous task.” “Can we improve?” he asked. “Yes, of course we can improve, and especially with your assistance.” Speaking on behalf of the African Group, the Ambassador of Egypt said that while he appreciated the efforts made to date, he and the region remain concerned that the Development Agenda coordination mechanism “is not yet implemented when it comes to the Program and Budget Committee.” “Unfortunately, the political will continues to be lacking as this CDIP session has not succeeded in resolving this important matter,” he said. Algeria, as the coordinator of the Development Agenda Group (DAG) joined the African Group in noting the “opposition to implement the General Assembly decision on the Development Agenda coordination mechanism when it comes to the Program and Budget Committee.” One cluster of the Development Agenda includes examining ways to broaden exemptions and limitations on copyright and patents to facilitate research and education.