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Press Release PR/2000/242

Geneva, September 27, 2000


Efforts to expand awareness about the universal value of intellectual
property were reinforced on Tuesday when the World Intellectual
Property Declaration, a strong message about the importance of
intellectual property as a tool for wealth creation, was formally
presented to WIPOís 175 member states by Prince Hassan bin Talal of
Jordan. The Declaration was adopted by the Policy Advisory Commission
(PAC) of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), an
advisory body to Director General Dr. Kamil Idris that is chaired by
Prince Hassan. The PAC is composed of eminent policy makers including
Bulgarian President Petar Stoyanov, former President Fidel Ramos of
the Philippines, and Japanís Vice Minister for International Affairs,
Ministry of Trade and Industry, Mr. Hisamitsu Arai.

The General Assembly of WIPO formally noted the Declaration on the
same day.

The Declaration (attached), initiated by Mr. Arai, recognizes the
universal value and relevance of intellectual property in todayís
knowledge-based societies. In his presentation to the annual session
of the WIPO General Assembly, Prince Hassan said, "the declaration
itself lays the foundations for a common understanding...not only on
the nature but also on the scope of the basic notions related to
intellectual property as well as relevant guiding principles
concerning the necessary equity within the intellectual property

Prince Hassan said "the Declaration illustrates how intellectual
property is native to all peoples, is relevant in all times and
cultures and underlines how it has marked the world's evolution and
contributed historically to the progress of societies." The
Declaration highlights the importance of strategies to enhance global
cooperation in implementing and further developing the intellectual
property system for the benefit of all.

The Declaration recommends the implementation of a wide range of
activities designed to promote public awareness, dissemination of
value-added intellectual property information and better
international registration services. It outlines measures to promote
effective use of intellectual property and protect cultural diversity
and identity.

When WIPO Director General, Dr. Kamil Idris, took the leadership of
the Organization in November 1997 he realized that intellectual
property issues were not high enough on the agenda of national
leaders. This was the main reason for establishing the PAC, which is
purely advisory in nature. Today, intellectual property is a policy
strategy as well as a business strategy for business leaders.

The Assembly also took note of a document prepared by PAC member Mr.
Henry Olsson, Special Government Advisor at the Swedish Ministry of
Justice, on the role of WIPO in a changing world. The paper addresses
the main controversial issues today in the field of intellectual
property such as patent protection for plants, pharmaceuticals, and
genes and indicates possible approaches to tackle these issues.

For further information, please contact the Media Relations and
Public Affairs Section at WIPO:

Tel.: +41 22-338 81 61 or 338 95 47 Fax: +41 22-338 88 10 Email:

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