The Provisional Committee for a Development Agenda (PCDA) at WIPO is holding its final meeting 26-30 June 2006 in Geneva to make recommendations to the 2006 WIPO General Assembly that are intended to incorporate a development dimension into WIPO’s work.

The UN Specialized Agency has been under fire recently, particularly from developing countries and public interest groups, to reform its norms and practices in accordance with the United Nations’ mandate of promoting social and economic development. WIPO has been criticized as mainly promoting the narrow private interest of large intellectual property holders in the US and Europe. The Development Agenda at WIPO is an effort by 15 developing countries to reassert WIPO’s public interest mission. It began in 2004 when the General Assembly adopted a proposal by the Group of Friends of Development for WIPO to examine the issue and then make a set of recommendations to the General Assembly for reform at WIPO.

On 23 June 2006 the Group of Friends of Development submitted a set of recommendations (PCDA/2/2) that the PCDA could decide to adopt at the conclusion of this week’s meeting and send to the General Assembly this fall. The recommendations synthesize existing proposals and would focus the final committee meeting’s debate in a productive way.

Last year, the United States and Europe objected to making any substantive recommendations to the WIPO General Assembly, necessitating the extension in the process until at least this year’s General Assembly.

IP Justice is in Geneva this week with a number of other public interest groups to participate at the final PCDA meeting and advocate for a robust Development Agenda at WIPO.

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