Intervention by India on WIPO External Offices under Agenda item 13 on Proposed Program and Budget for 2014/15 biennium at the 21st session of WIPO Program & Budget Committee September 10, 2013
I would like to express the confidence of my delegation in your able leadership of this Committee. I also thank the WIPO Secretariat for their hard work in producing the documents for this session and also the revised proposed Program and Budget document WO/ PBC/21/8.
We welcome the proposal for opening of new External Offices of WIPO during the next biennium in the proposed programme and Budget for 2014-15. The opening up of new External Offices of WIPO, should take into account the interest of different geographical regions as well as other factors such as balancing the need and demand on account of population, size of economy and growth in IP filings.
India has also expressed its interest in opening of an External Office of WIPO in India. We would like to see a decision on an External Office in India during the next biennium 2014/2015. It could be one of the five offices proposed in this program and budget or in addition of the 5 proposed offices. An External Office of WIPO in India could also cater to the requirements of South Asia and West Asia region.
We would like to recall that during the last session of PBC, the Member States requested the secretariat to prepare two documents (i) an information paper, including background documentation, to be circulated prior to the next session of the PBC, in response to questions and, (ii) an in-depth study to address, in a comprehensive manner, all the issues related to the matter of WIPO External Offices.
The decision of the 20th Session of PBC also states - “The PBC further requested the Secretariat to prepare the following documents regarding the matter of external offices, emphasizing the Member-driven nature of this process”.
We thank the Secretariat for providing the information document on External Offices. However, it has been presented as a combined document containing both the information paper and the in-depth study. It is an attempt to address only part of the concerns of Member States, and leaving out among others the question of establishing a procedure and set of criteria to be followed for appointment of new WIPO External Offices.
When we go through the Secretariat’s information document, we find that various reasons have been illustrated for setting up of the new External Offices, such as;
(i) The existing EOs coverage is limited and there are many other Member States which could benefit from collaboration between WIPO HQ and EOs by creating new EOs in areas where there is extensive need for technical assistance and capacity building.
(ii) Geographical distribution is particularly important to the delivery of WIPO’s services for technical assistance and capacity building.
(iii) Increasing use of WIPO’s global IP system
(iv) New EOs are expected to be used as nodal points where technical experts are pooled and stationed for rapid delivery of services and on-site interventions. The presence of locally recruited experts should also contribute to effective transfer of knowledge, and enhancement of mutual support through creation of regional networks.
We feel that India fits the criteria identified for selection of any country for setting up of new External Office of WIPO.
Our delegation is willing to work constructively with all groups and delegations to reach a consensus on the procedure and establishing criteria for opening up of new External offices of WIPO.
We support the view expressed by DAG that the Committee may consider expansion of the budget of the program, in line with the great interest expressed by member countries in the last session.