Kathmandu,27 Sep: Permanent Representative of Nepal to the United Nations and Other International Organizations Ambassador Dr. Dinesh Bhattarai stated on Monday that the existing North-South technological gap and the digital divide between Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and the rest of the world is perpetuating the divide in income, living standards and every attribute of life unless a favorable intellectual property environment is created in LDCs to ensure an overall economic development.
While addressing the opening session of the 49th Assemblies of Member States of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in Geneva, on behalf of the Group of Least Developed Countries, Bhattarai said, LDCs are lagging far behind in the race of developing intellectual property (IP).Ambassador Bhattarai also called for enhanced and effective international support including the transfer of appropriate and productive technology and dissemination of information for creating a sound and viable technological foundation to promote knowledge, creativity and innovation.
He added that the status of IP in LDCs requires us to go beyond the simple project-based approach to address the structural weaknesses inherent in LDCs with a view to improving their poor IP infrastructures.Ambassador Bhattarai also underlined the importance of further strengthening the LDCs Division with sufficient human and financial resources for the implementation of commitments made to the LDCs.
Dr. Bhattarai opined that LDCs are rich in traditional knowledge, genetic resources, traditional cultural expression and folklore and that these rich properties face the risk of withering away in the absence of technical knowhow and financial resources.He urged to take immediate initiatives to protect them through copyrights and related rights systems and other appropriate mechanisms that ensure a mandatory disclosure of the source and country of origin.
Referring to the Istanbul Programme of Action (IPoA) for the LDCs for the decade 2011-2020 adopted by the UN LDCs IV, Dr. Bhattarai highlighted that there are a number of priority areas for action in which WIPO can contribute including in productive capacity; agriculture, food security and rural development; human and social development; technology, trade; and addressing the impacts of ongoing multiple crises and other emerging challenges.
It may be noted that Nepal, in its capacity as the chair of the LDCs group, has proposed a brief resolution for the consideration of the Assemblies aimed at formalizing the integration of IPoA into the WIPO’s programme and work, as envisaged in Paragraph 153 of the IPoA.At a time when the world is under growing social and economic pressures, Ambassador Bhattarai underscored the crucial role of IP in promoting decent job, generating sustainable life styles, addressing the crises and contributing towards a fair, inclusive, stable and secure world.