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WIPO Assemblies Provide Direction for Future Work

05-Oct-2011 | Source : AG-IP News | Visits : 6747
GENEVA - Representatives of World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)’s 184 member states, meeting at their annual Assemblies in Geneva from September 26 to October 5, 2011 took a landmark decision to call a diplomatic conference to agree an international treaty on the rights of performers in their audiovisual performances. 

According to WIPO, they took stock of the Organization’s substantive work over the last year, provided direction for the future work program, and approved a program and budget for the Organization for the next biennium (2012/13). WIPO Director General Francis Gurry said this year’s Assemblies were characterized by a remarkable spirit of engagement and commitment by member states to address the pressing intellectual property (IP) issues on the global agenda and hoped this would continue. 

Speaking at the closing of the Assemblies, Gurry said the Assemblies have been “extremely successful due to the extremely constructive engagement of all member states.” This engagement, he said, has helped to move the Organization’s agenda forward in a positive manner. Gurry said he looked forward to a continuation of this enhanced dialogue among member states and with the secretariat, noting a very busy year ahead. 

The Chair of the WIPO General Assembly, Serbia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva, Ambassador Uglješa Zvekić, also welcomed the positive outcome of the Assemblies, noting the important decisions taken by member states which all reflected a common thread – the value of innovation and creativity as vehicles for progress and development. 

Representatives of regional groups, and individual member states, also welcomed the outcome of the Assemblies and the positive spirit among member states. Regional groups specifically underlined decisions to convene a diplomatic conference on the rights of performers in their audiovisual performances, renewal of the mandate of the Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore (IGC) and approval of the program and budget for 2012/13. 

The Assemblies adopted the Program and Budget for the 2012/13 biennium, capped at an overall expenditure level of 637 million Swiss francs. The next biennium is expected to see a welcome return to growth, with the Organization’s revenue estimated to grow by 4.7 per cent, to a total of 647 million Swiss francs. However, as the recovery remains fragile in the current economic environment, the Organization will continue to monitor financial performance with great vigilance and focus on further cost containment and efficiency measures without affecting program delivery. 

The Program and Budget reflect WIPO's determination to advance positive strategic change for the Organization under the nine Strategic Goals and to deliver the results that member states and stakeholders expect. The Program and Budget 2012/13 is the first results-based budget of the Organization establishing clear linkages between organizational results and the resources required to achieve those results. Development, a priority in the 2012/13 biennium, has been mainstreamed throughout the Strategic Goals. Related development expenditure is increasing from 19.4% of total expenditure in the present 2010/11 biennium to 21.3% in the next biennium. The Program and Budget 2012/13 emphasizes the following priority areas: (i) more widespread and better use of the services provided by WIPO’s global registration systems; (ii) further development of a balanced international normative framework for IP; (iii)enhancing access to, and use of IP information and knowledge by IP institutions and the public to promote innovation and enhancing access to protected creative works and creative works in the public domain;(iv) facilitating the use of IP for development in developing countries, LDCs and countries with economies in transition; and (v) enhancing efforts to provide effective, efficient and customer-oriented services to external stakeholders and internal clients. 

Member states took note of progress in the implementation of the Strategic Realignment Program (SRP), an organizational improvement initiative aimed at enhancing efficiency, effectiveness and responsiveness across the Organization in the context of the rapidly changing world of intellectual property. The SRP is currently in the first year of a two year implementation phase. The Program includes 19 cross-cutting initiatives including strengthening results-based management, improving internal controls and risk management, establishing an ethics system, improving service orientation and decreasing WIPO’s adverse environmental impact.
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