Finland is taking the floor on behalf of the European Union and its Member States. The EU and its Member States would like to thank you and the Vice-Chairs for your efforts and leadership in facilitating discussions during this GA. Our thanks go to the Chairs, Vice-Chairs and facilitators of the Committees, to the Director General, the Deputy Directors General and the Secretariat of WIPO, for their tireless dedication and professionalism in reconciling the different positions during these Assemblies. We would also like to thank the Secretariat for the preparation of documents and meetings, and the interpreters for their hard work and excellent performance.
We note with appreciation that the General Assembly adopted the recommendation from the SCCR regarding the Broadcasting Treaty and decided to invite the SCCR to continue its work towards convening a diplomatic conference, aiming for the 2020/2021 biennium, subject to Member States reaching consensus on the fundamental issues in future meetings of the Committee. We would like to reiterate our continued commitment and great interest in these discussions and remain hopeful, that they will result in a meaningful treaty, which responds efficiently to both the current and future needs of broadcasting organisations.
Regarding agenda item 18 on the Design Law Treaty we would like to thank the facilitator HE Ambassador Socorro Flores Liera for her efforts. We were pleased to engage in Informal discussions initiated by the circulation of her proposal for a possible compromise solution on outstanding issues. Nevertheless, we have to note with regret that again this year, no positive decision to convene a diplomatic conference on the adoption of a Design Law Treaty could be achieved and that the matter remains on the agenda for the General Assembly in 2020.
Turning to the IGC, we are pleased that the GA approved the Committee’s recommendation for the renewal of the mandate of the IGC for another two years. We now have a practical mandate and a clear work plan for the biennium 2020/2021. The EU and its Member States will continue to engage actively in discussions on all three topics addressed in the IGC mandate. In addition, we are happy to recall that two Member States of the EU, Finland and Germany, have pledged to contribute to the WIPO Voluntary Fund, thus facilitating the participation of indigenous peoples and local communities in the work of the IGC. We hope other WIPO Member States will join in the positive movement and help keep the fund from becoming depleted in the following years.
In closing, the EU and its Member States would like to reiterate our continued commitment to WIPO’s goals and work. This organization needs positive engagement from all delegations in performing its task as the only UN organization responsible for multilateral negotiations in the field of IP, despite the highly politicized nature of the topics discussed. We hope that the cooperative spirit shown in all WIPO Bodies and Committees will prevail and help us in finding pragmatic solutions also to topics that could not be finalized at these Assemblies.