WIPO General Assembly Renews IGC Mandate

5 October 2011: The General Assembly of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), at its 40th (20th ordinary) session, held from 26 September-5 October 2011, in Geneva, Switzerland, decided to renew the mandate of the Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore (IGC) for the 2012-2013 biennium.

In renewing the IGC's mandate to hold text-based negotiations with the objective of reaching agreement on a text(s) of an international legal instrument(s), delegations welcomed the progress made by the IGC in the last biennium, especially on traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions, and endorsed the decision reached at the IGC's last session to renew the body's mandate.

Many delegations looked forward to a continuation of progress in the next biennium, and recognized that much work remains to be done. Some delegations – notably those from the African Group and other developing countries – expressed disappointment at the comparatively slow progress on the genetic resources item, and called for text-based negotiations on this issue. A number of delegations expressed hope that a text of an international legal instrument would be ready by September 2012, so WIPO's General Assembly can take a decision on convening a diplomatic conference.

Many delegations emphasized the importance of the participation of indigenous and local communities (ILCs) in the work of the IGC, and commended Australia for its contribution (100,000 Australian dollars) to the WIPO Voluntary Fund. [WIPO Press Release] [Decision of Renewal of IGC Mandate]