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WIPO Member States Consider 2022/23 Biennium Program of Work and Budget

13-Jul-2021 | Source : AG-IP News | Visits : 5388

GENEVA - World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Director General Daren Tang presented member states with the vision for the Organization over the coming half-decade, DG Opening Remarks at July 12 PBC session, while projecting a healthy near-term financial position and unveiling new efforts to help ensure intellectual property (IP) and WIPO's work help the world recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the official website of WIPO.

In a pair of presentations to delegates at WIPO's Program and Budget Committee (PBC), Mr. Tang unveiled the new Administration’s first two-year budget proposal since assuming his role as Director General on October 1, 2020, and gave details of the new Administration’s Medium-Term Strategic Plan (MTSP) for 2022-2026.

Mr. Tang said WIPO's work would contribute to a world where innovation and creativity from anywhere is supported by IP for the good of everyone. “In this vision, IP is a powerful tool for every country to create jobs, attract investments, support enterprise growth, lift up communities, and ultimately develop dynamic economies and vibrant societies,” he said.

“WIPO’s work must support all Member States, and especially bring the benefits of IP to developing countries and least developed countries… we are shifting towards an impact driven development model, where we now want to go down to the ground, and engage with the grassroots, to help IP be used by innovators, creators, micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, communities and others who have traditionally not been served as well by the IP ecosystem,” Mr. Tang said.

Proposed Budget
In his budget proposal for the 2022-2023 biennium, Mr. Tang proposed a prudent 3% increase in expenditure (for a total of 790.8 million Swiss francs) while forecasting an 8% increase in revenue (951.8 million Swiss francs).

The Director General said most increases in expenditure will be focused on WIPO’s continued digital transformation, as well as ensuring that the Organization’s wider infrastructure and services remain appropriately resourced. The digitalization will be accompanied by changes in the way WIPO works, including a focus on empowering staff, better in-house collaboration and creating a more dynamic work culture. This also includes a 4.5% increase in development expenditure which accounts for 18.5% of the overall budget.

The PBC, which is being chaired by Ambassador Sabri Bachtobji, Permanent Representative of Tunisia to the United Nations Office at Geneva, will conduct a first reading of the program of work and budget proposals this week. The committee will meet again in September ahead of the WIPO Assemblies which decides on adoption of the program of work and budget for the 2022/23 biennium. The WIPO Assemblies meet October 4-8, 2021.

Medium-Term Strategic Plan
In addition to the considering the program of work and budget, the PBC was invited to take note of the MTSP.

Aside from articulating a vision where IP is a powerful tool for every country to create jobs, attract investments, support enterprise growth, lift up communities, and ultimately develop dynamic economies and vibrant societies, the MTSP states that the Organization will continue to focus on its traditional areas of strength – as the international norm and standard setting agency for IP, and in the provision of global IP services.

The plan goes beyond the technical and legal aspects of IP to bring IP to the person in the street, and to make them understand how IP is part of their aspirations, their journey and their lives.

“We need to go beyond engaging with only the experts and specialists to engaging with people everywhere, allowing them to see how IP is relevant to them, and can be used as a tool to bring their innovation, their ideas and creativity to the world. We will build practical IP skills and step up our work in support of innovators, creators, businesses, researchers and communities," said Mr. Tang.

"We will ensure that youth, women, micro, small and medium-sized enterprises and others that had not been so well served by the IP ecosystem are now areas of collective focus for us as well. And we will redouble our work with external stakeholders and partners across the UN family and other international agencies to strengthen sustainable development and address global issues.”  

WIPO’s COVID-19 Related Services and Support
The Director General announced a package of services and measures designed to support member states as they overcome the pandemic and rebuild.

“WIPO is also committed to continuing to assist Member States on a unilateral basis as you address the pandemic and plan for the post-COVID-19 recovery. We recognize that building back inclusively and sustainably is a priority for governments around the world and an area where innovation and creativity will play a key role,” he said.

The package covers five areas where WIPO has significant in-house experience and expertise: Policy and Legislative Assistance; Technical Assistance and Capacity Building; Innovation Support and Technology Transfer; IP Dispute Resolution and Knowledge Resources.

At the same time, he said that WIPO will continue its trilateral cooperation with the World Health Organization and World Trade Organization. The trio of agencies will step up efforts on technical assistance and capacity building initiatives, with the first trilateral workshop on technology transfer and licensing scheduled before October this year.

In concluding, Mr. Tang said “Despite the challenges of the last 16 months, WIPO’s strong foundations remain intact. For this, I want to acknowledge and pay tribute to my colleagues and our predecessors. Over the coming biennium, we propose to maintain this balanced and prudent financial approach whilst placing a renewed emphasis on ensuring that IP will help us meet the global challenges we face, have a positive impact on people’s lives around the world and support growth and development in all Member States."  

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