…This is a big plus for Africa and the developing world- Registrar of Trademarks
World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) member states approved the convening of diplomatic conferences for two proposed international agreements: one pertaining to the protection of designs to ease cross border trade and a pact related to intellectual property (IP), genetic resources and traditional knowledge associated with genetic resources.
Following years of negotiations on both topics, the WIPO General Assembly decided to move to diplomatic conferences – or dedicated negotiating rounds where agreements may be concluded – no later than 2024, for each of the draft agreements.
In remarks to delegates following the decision, WIPO Director General Daren Tang said that while negotiators would still need to bridge significant gaps on key issues in any new treaty, he described the delegates’ decision as a breakthrough and pledged the Secretariat’s support in helping negotiators to navigate the important next steps.
“Today is a triumph of multilateralism, of us as a General Assembly, moving together as a community to make a difference for people everywhere,” Mr. Tang said. “Of course there are disagreements, there will be divergences – this is just the beginning of a whole new set of conversations. But this is an important step and on behalf of me and my colleagues in the Secretariat, I pledge our full support for you on this journey.”
“All I ask is that you give this your full attention and care because in the end, these proposed treaties are not mere pieces of paper – they could really have an impact on people around the world,” he added.
After gavelling the agreed agenda item to applause from delegates, Chair of the WIPO General Assembly, Ambassador Tatiana Molcean, Permanent Mission of the Republic of Moldova to the United Nations Office and other international organizations in Geneva, said: “Some difficult decisions were made today and member states showed great understanding and respect for each other’s positions. As Chair of the General Assembly, I was proud to see member states come together to take their negotiations towards a final resolution.”
Some 900 delegates from WIPO’s 193 Member States attended the July 14-22, 2022, Sixty-Third Series of Meetings of the Assemblies of the Member States of WIPO – the largest number of registrants for a WIPO Assemblies meeting since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
is a Diplomatic Conference?
The traditional method for concluding or revising treaties has been the holding of a diplomatic conference of plenipotentiaries specifically convened for that purpose. Diplomatic conferences are held to negotiate and adopt or revise multilateral treaties.