The EU and its Member States recognise the unique importance of the work carried out by the Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore (IGC). We acknowledge and commend the commitment of IGC Chair Mr Ian Goss, IGC Vice-Chairs Mr Jukka Liedes and Mr Faizal Chery Sidharta, facilitators Mr Paul Kuruk and Ms Lilyclair Belamy and friend of the Chair Ms Margo Bagley, to promote progress in the IGC through their excellent and hard work. We would also like to thank the WIPO Secretariat, in particular Mr Wend Wendland and Ms Fei Jiao, for all their precious support in preparing and administering IGC sessions.
In the biennium 2018/2019 the IGC held six thematic sessions in accordance with the mandate and adopted Work Program for this biennium. A new and more layered methodology including ad hoc Expert Groups and small contact groups was introduced in order to have focused discussions on key issues. Building on such exercises and as a result of discussions in IGC plenary and Informals, new revised versions of the texts including draft articles on Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Traditional Cultural Expressions respectively have been elaborated, as adopted by the 40th session of the IGC for transmission to this General Assembly. We stand ready to continue discussions on the basis of those revised texts.
The EU and its Member States would like to thank the IGC Chair for preparing and circulating a Chair’s text on a Draft International Legal Instrument Relating to Intellectual Property, Genetic Resources and Traditional Knowledge Associated with Genetic Resources, dated April 30, 2019. We are appreciative of the IGC Chair’s efforts to facilitate progress on GRs by means of providing a text intended to serve as a possible alternative for further discussions. In our view, that personal initiative provides an opportunity to be considered for future work on GRs. We welcome the transmission of the Chair’s Text to this General Assembly as well as its inclusion as a working document of the IGC as a Chair’s text, as decided at the last IGC session.
We also welcome that IGC 40 managed to reach consensus on a recommendation to this General Assembly on the terms of the IGC’s Mandate and Work Program for 2020/2021. We find that a significant achievement and would like to thank all delegations for maintaining a positive spirit of cooperation throughout discussions related to future work during the last IGC session.
Chair, the EU and its Member States fully endorse the decisions and recommendations adopted at IGC 40, as contained in document WO/GA/51/12. We reiterate our support for the renewal of the mandate of the IGC for the biennium 2020/2021 on the terms and according to the program set out by IGC 40.
We would like to take this opportunity to highlight the importance of active participation of Indigenous and Local Communities in the work of the IGC. We are therefore pleased that two of our Member States, Finland and Germany, have made the pledges to contribute 15 000 euros each to the WIPO Voluntary Fund for Accredited Indigenous and Local Communities. We hope that other WIPO Member States join in the positive movement to ensure the participation of Indigenous and Local Communities in the work of the IGC also in the future.
We remain engaged in continuing negotiations on all three topics and look forward to participating constructively in the work of the IGC under the new mandate.