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Archived updates for Monday, July 10, 2006

Sniping Continues Over WIPO Development Agenda

According to the July 5, 2006 issue of Bridges Trade Weekly, the World Intellectual Property Organisation's Provisional Committee on Proposals Related to a Development Agenda failed to reach an agreement at their latest meeting on June 30 when Chair Rigoberto Gauto Vielman (of Paraguay) put forward a controversial draft recommendation containing a "selection of proposals" on which he deemed consensus possible. "Members' reactions to the chair's text were both mixed and heated," reported the International Center for Trade and Sustainable Development. "Developing country delegations rejected the chair's text, arguing that it disproportionately reflected submissions supported by developed countries."

The official "U.S. View on Conclusion of WIPO Development Committee Meeting" is a bit less circumspect:

The United States also joined the majority of members in supporting the PCDA
Chairman’s (Paraguayan Ambassador Rigoberto Gauto Vielman) suggestion for a text to reflect the emerging consensus in recommendations to the 2006 WIPO General Assembly. This included a list of concrete proposals to immediately move forward and a recommendation that WIPO continue its consideration of the remaining proposals.

Unfortunately, a small number of countries, including Brazil and Argentina, the originators of proposals to establish a “development agenda” in WIPO, blocked the emerging consensus, and called for a suspension of the meeting rather than continue discussions.

Lois Boland, the head of the US delegation, expressed great disappointment. “We had a real chance to do something positive for the vast majority of WIPO members, particularly lesser developed countries, but this was unfortunately unacceptable to the political agenda of a small group of members,” Ms. Boland stated.

The issue may still be revisited at the 2006 WIPO General Assemblies without a recommendation from the PCDA.
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