Statement at the WIPO Assemblies
As Delivered by Ambassador Sheba Crocker
July 14th, 2022
Madam Chair, the United States strongly supports the consolidated agenda and urges all Member States to support the adoption of the agenda as prepared by the Director-General.
We have a full agenda for the Assemblies, and it is vital that the work of the Assemblies moves forward as planned. A few Member States should not be allowed to hold the Assemblies hostage and block the important work of this body. Do not let Russia’s disinformation tactics derail the smooth functioning of these Assemblies. The 42 Member States that requested a supplemental agenda item – now agenda item 19 on June 14th – followed all applicable WIPO rules of procedure including rule five, paragraph four. Member States have had one month, ample time to consider the consolidated agenda, including item 19, “Assistance and Support for Ukraine’s Innovation and Creativity Sector and Intellectual Property Systems.”
Russia is conflating the rules on requesting a supplementary item on the draft agenda with an accompanying document for discussion under that item. Only the request to add an agenda item must be submitted one month in advance of the Assemblies. There is no specific time restriction on when the accompanying document needs to be submitted.
This isn’t about politicization. On the contrary, a discussion of support and assistance to Ukraine’s innovation and creativity ecosystem that suffered significant damage caused by Russia’s brutal aggression falls well within this body’s mandate. Indeed, WIPO is the body that must take action as needed and do so urgently.
With request to the arguments that the discussion should not focus on a single country, I recall, and call Member States attention to the UN General Assembly resolution A/RES/ES-11/1 passed on March 2nd in New York with 141 Member States voting in favor, and call attention to paragraph 15 of that resolution, which says “Welcomes and urges the continued efforts by the Secretary-General, Member States, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and other international and regional organizations to support the de-escalation of the current situation, as well as the efforts of the United Nations, including of the United Nations Crisis Coordinator for Ukraine, and humanitarian organizations, to respond to the humanitarian and refugee crisis that the aggression by the Russian Federation has created.”
We cannot ignore the context of this crisis. Russia’s invasion and its collateral impacts, including vast destruction of livelihoods, entrepreneurship, and the creativity sector in Ukraine, undermine WIPO’s ability to advance its main objective; the development of a balanced and effective intellectual property system that promotes innovation and creativity for a better and more sustainable future.
Thank you, Madam Chair.