Wednesday, May 14, 2008

New Director General for WIPO

Yesterday saw high drama in Geneva not seen since -- well, I don't know when there has been high drama in Geneva -- but anyway, by a vote of 42 to 41, Francis Gurry of Australia was elected the new Director General of WIPO. As reported by the Intellectual Property Watch blog:

The busy campaigns of the 15 original candidates lasted for months, beginning last autumn, and in some cases as far back as last summer, when it became apparent that a concerted effort would be made to convince the current director general to leave early out of concern for confidence in his leadership. Director General Kamil Idris agreed to leave the position one year early, on 1 October 2008.

But in the end, Gurry, considered a favourite as one of the most senior officials in the organisation who had nevertheless crafted a reputation for relative independence from the existing administration, prevailed. Gurry is the deputy director general in charge of patents, Internet domain names, and other matters, and previously served as WIPO general counsel. ....

In the end, it was a duel of insiders, as Gra├ža Aranha also has been with the organisation for years. But Gurry may have managed to swing just enough developing country votes to take it. He also seemed to have support among some staff in the organisation. After the result, one staff person took to the hallways, shouting, “Viva Gurry!”

I have been told by an Australian colleague that the reaction in Australia was the more boisterous Australian war cry, "Aussie Aussie Aussie!!! Oi Oi Oi!" In any event, mazel tov to Mr. Gurry, and may the force be with you.

2 comments:

Doofus65 said...

Gurry was only confirmed by the WIPO Coordination Committee, a sub-group made up of 83 member states. The coordination committee's work must stil be endorsed by the WIPO general assembly, which meets later this year. The 83 member coordination committee is heavy on developed countries who like Gurry, but the GA is a different kettle of fish altogether. To build on your description, the high drama is not over yet...

William Patry said...

Yes, Doofus65, I should have been more precise. Now if the general assembly were to reject the coordination committee's recommendation that would be high drama