Decision: Matters Concerning the Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore
23 September – 2 October 2013 (Geneva, Switzerland)

The General Assembly of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) renewed the mandate of the Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore (IGC) for the 2014-2015 biennium, and agreed on a schedule of sessions and a work programme for 2014. Under its renewed mandate, the IGC will continue to expedite its work with the objective of reaching agreement on a text(s) of an international legal instrument(s), which will ensure the effective protection of genetic resources, traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions. The IGC is requested to submit the text(s) of the international legal instrument(s) to the 2014 General Assembly which will, with a view to finalizing the text(s) within the biennium, take stock of and consider the text(s), progress made and decide on convening a Diplomatic Conference. The General Assembly took note of the possibility for members of the IGC to request studies or provide examples to inform its work, noting, however, that such examples and studies were not to delay progress or establish any preconditions to the negotiations.

The IGC is expected to meet in February, April and July 2014. IGC 26, in February 2014, will be a five-day session on genetic resources, and is expected to be preceded by an Ambassadorial/Senior Capital-Based Officials meeting to share views on key policy issues relating to the negotiations to further inform and guide the process. IGC 27, in April 2014, will be a ten-day session focusing on traditional knowledge and then traditional cultural expressions. IGC 28, in July 2014, will be a three-day cross-cutting session, addressing all three themes, which will take stock of progress made and make a recommendation to the General Assembly in September 2014.

Despite agreement on the IGC mandate and other issues including the convening of a diplomatic conference for the adoption of a revised Lisbon Agreement on appellations of origin and geographical indications in 2015, Member States were unable to agree on WIPO’s programme and budget, including the establishment of new external offices, and some other issues. An extraordinary meeting is expected to convene in December 2013, to conclude outstanding items before the end of the current biennium.

Download the decision on the IGC mandate [pdf] … Read WIPO’s press release on the Assemblies … Read an IP Watch article of 3 October 2013 …