Policy Brief 33, December 2016

Outcome of the Assemblies of the Member States of the World Intellectual Property Organization 2016

The fifty-sixth series of meetings of the Assemblies of the Member States of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) were held on 3-11 October 2016. They concluded with no agreement among member States on key issues, such as whether to convene a Diplomatic Conference for adoption of the Design Law Treaty (DLT) and the establishment of new WIPO External Offices for the 2016/17 biennium. Developed countries remained opposed to the inclusion of any provision in the DLT on technical assistance and disclosure of origin or source of a design based on traditional knowledge, traditional cultural expressions or genetic resources. The General Assembly (GA) agreed to establish two new WIPO External Offices in Africa, yet there was no agreement on the establishment of a third External Office in another region, in the face of competing hosting proposals from within and across different regions.

The GA adopted a revised Internal Oversight Charter based on the recommendations of the Independent Advisory Oversight Committee (IAOC). With the entry into force of the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled on 30 September 2016, the first meeting of the Marrakesh Assembly was held as part of the WIPO Assemblies.

The Assemblies are the main policy and decision-making bodies of WIPO. At the General Assembly, Member States take stock of the progress in the Organization’s work and discuss future policy directions. The Member States that are parties to the various treaties administered by WIPO also meet in separate Union Assemblies.

The 2016 WIPO Assemblies convened the meetings of 21 Assemblies and other bodies of WIPO.

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