Address delivered during the FORUM III
by Mr Henri Philippe SAMBUC
On behalf of Dr Kamil Idris, Director-General of the Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), I would like to congratulate UNESCO and its Secretary General, as also ICSU and its President, for this very well organized initiative.
We all hope that the results of this week of discussion will lead to concrete changes and improvement for scientists from everywhere in the world and that major changes will occur both for the benefit of scientific communities and that of our societies.
WIPO is a specialized Agency of the United Nations whose mission is to promote, protect and disseminate intellectual property rights as international cooperation in this area.
The place of science and scientists in societies is thus of greatest concern for WIPO which entirely adheres to all efforts undertaken to foster the development of a worldwide diffused, democratic and socially-oriented science.
WIPO's concern is deepened by the fact that science is at the heart of creative intellectual activity and that Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) are no longer merely legal techniques but are the strategic backbone of economic development in an information-based society.
We have thus all reasons to pay special attention to some crucial questions asked by several participants during this Conference, especially as regards:
I think it necessary to clarify the role of WIPO as regards these legitimate worries.
It seems necessary also to reiterate that, as a matter of principle:
But it is true that IPRs are supposed to be used in a competitive market.
So if there are tensions today and these tensions have been expressed, it is primarily due to unbalanced market forces, which calls for legal, economic or financial remedies.
Having said that, please note that WIPO has already launched and will further launch global initiatives and tools which all aim at narrowing the gap between the South and the North, especially in scientific matters:
I kindly ask the present scientific institutions from the North and from the South and the capacity-building organizations not to hesitate to contact us. We think that we have a collective responsibility to get effective results as soon as possible through plain and open cooperation, without duplication.