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U.S. Statement on Adoption of Proposals for Amendment to WIPO's Internal Oversight Charter
October 11, 2016

Statement by Ambassador Hamamoto
during the 2016 WIPO General Assembly
on Adoption of the Proposals for Amendment to the WIPO Internal Oversight Charter

Agenda Item 9

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

 We welcome the adoption of these amendments to the Internal Oversight Charter.  We appreciate the fact that most delegations, whatever their views of the underlying matter, have shared the perception that the initiating, conducting, and handling of this investigation revealed gaps in WIPO’s Charter that required immediate correction.

Let me point to four specific problems that have been fixed in the amendments we have just adopted:

— Problem # 1:  Under the old Charter, only with much difficulty could an investigation against a Director General and the Director, IOD, be referred to an external investigative entity.  Now, this problem has been fixed with the IAOC having a clear role in providing recommendations at both the preliminary and full investigation phases.

— Problem #2: Under the old Charter, there were numerous stages of the investigatory process without fixed timelines, which needlessly prolonged the process.  That has been fixed.

— Problem #3:  Under the old Charter, the right of Member States to full access to investigative reports, much less a redacted report, was in question.  That has been fixed;

— Problem #4:  Under the old Charter, the role of the Coordination Committee, and of the General Assembly, in determining whether a Director General should be subject to a disciplinary procedure, appeared to many to be eclipsed by the role of the Chairs.  That has been fixed.

We welcome the adoption of these important modifications.  We believe they will make WIPO a stronger and more transparent organization.  The increased organizational clarity will allow Member States to more effectively exercise their oversight responsibilities in the future.

We greatly appreciate the contributions of the IAOC, WIPO member states, and the WIPO Secretariat in leading us to this important result, as well as the leadership of the Mexican Ambassador in guiding us to a successful conclusion.