|Ambassador Duong Chi Dung.
The event was presided over by Ambassador Duong Chi Dung, head of Vietnam’s permanent mission to the UN, the World Trade Organisation and other international organisations in Geneva. This was the first time Ambassador Dung had held the chairmanship of the WIPO General Assembly for 2018-2019.
The 58th series of meetings attracted more than 1,000 delegates from 191 WIPO member states. The Vietnamese delegation was led by Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Pham Cong Tac.
During the meetings, the member states agreed to push forward with negotiations on proposed treaties on broadcasting as well as intellectual property (IP) and genetic resources, traditional knowledge and folklore, and a Design Law Treaty.
In addition, nine new accessions to or ratifications of WIPO treaties showed the member states’ strong engagement with the IP systems administered by WIPO and underlined the member states’ commitment to the multilateral system, said WIPO Director General Francis Gurry.
Intellectual property rights form the incentive structure for innovators and creators worldwide, while the treaty-based global IP system administered by the WIPO secretariat facilitates orderly cross-border trade in the technological and cultural products that foster growth and improve lives everywhere, said Gurry.
Throughout the Assemblies, delegates worked together to shape and evolve the global IP system. Among other actions (in agenda order) taken at the WIPO Assemblies, they agreed that the composition of key WIPO committees would be decided at the 2019 WIPO Assemblies; approved the amendments to the WIPO Independent Advisory Oversight Committee Terms of Reference and to the Internal Oversight Charter; and decided to request the Chair of the General Assembly to continue consultations with a view to making a recommendation to the 2019 General Assembly on opening up to four WIPO External Offices in the 2018/2019 biennium, including one in Colombia.
They also urged the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) to make its best efforts to achieve consensus on the remaining outstanding issues related to the proposed treaty during its next two meetings. The SCCR was also directed to take stock at the second meeting, and, if consensus is reached, to propose a recommendation to the 2019 WIPO General Assembly with a date and venue for a diplomatic conference to adopt the broadcasting treaty text.
They decided that it will continue considering the convening of a diplomatic conference on the Design Law Treaty at the end of the first half of 2020; and called on the Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore (IGC) to expedite its work in accordance with the IGC’s mandate for 2018 and 2019.
The Vietnamese delegation actively participated in the meetings and made contributions to a number of important contents.
On the sidelines of the event, Deputy Minister Tac had a working session with WIPO Director General Gurry, during which the Vietnamese official called on WIPO to continue assisting Vietnam in completing the national IP strategy, admit Vietnamese officials to work at the organisation and provide technical support for the country.
The Vietnamese delegation also met with representatives from the European Patent Office, the Japan Patent Office, the National Institute of Industrial Property of France and the UK Intellectual Property Office.
The WIPO is the global forum for intellectual property policy, services, information and cooperation. A specialised agency of the United Nations, WIPO assists its 191 member states in developing a balanced international IP legal framework to meet society's evolving needs. It provides business services for obtaining IP rights in multiple countries and resolving disputes. It delivers capacity-building programs to help developing countries benefit from using IP. And it provides free access to unique knowledge banks of IP information.