Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Changing Structure and Governance of Intellectual Property Enforcement

South Centre has recently published its Research Paper 15 on "The Changing Structure and Governance of Intellectual Property Enforcement". The paper produced through South Centre's Innovation and Access to Knowledge Programme (IAKP) provides a broad overview and analysis of the changing multilateral framework for intellectual property enforcement and develops policy recommendations for developing countries. It examines current multilateral obligations and traces developments in the field of intellectual property enforcement in various multilateral fora, including the WCO, WHO, WIPO, WTO and Interpol. Finally, it analyses the approach of the United States and European Union to strengthening intellectual property enforcement in third countries through regional, bilateral and unilateral mechanisms such as regional and bilateral agreements.

The Research Paper is authored by Ermias Tekeste Biadgleng and Viviana Munoz Tellez, Programme Officers of the Innovation and Access to Knowledge Programme, South Centre.

Disclosure of Origin at the CBD, WIPO and the WTO: Conflict, Coherence or Complementarity

Read South FACE from the Event at:

South Centre organizing a panel event on "Disclosure of Origin at the CBD, WIPO and the WTO: Conflict, Coherence or Complementarity" jointly with CIEL on 24 January.

The Event was held at: Palais des Nations, Room No. XXII (Building E), from 13h15 – 14h45

This event held in parallel to the Sixth meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Access and Benefit-sharing of the Convention on Biological Diversity (ABS 6) being held in Geneva from 21-25 January is of importance as the issue of misappropriation and biopiracy has received significant attention in recent years and efforts are currently underway at various international forums to find possible solutions.

The current patent system, as governed by international common binding norms has been seen as the primary enabling mechanism for biopiracy, a viewpoint that has triggered an intense global debate. Biodiversity rich countries (many in the Global South), as well as indigenous and other local communities have long faced constant socio-economic pressure due to an intellectual property system that allows exclusive private appropriation of genetic resources without fair and equitable sharing of the benefits accruing from such use. Many argue that disclosure of origin of genetic resources and traditional knowledge will allow countries to formulate a basis for determining issues of benefit sharing and access to genetic resources.

The panel will discuss the different approaches to the disclosure of origin issue at the WTO, WIPO and the CBD and examine areas of overlap, potential areas
of conflict and the future of disclosure of origin provisions in the three fora.

More information at:

South Centre participates in UNCTAD XII pre-event on Aid for Trade in Bangkok

Darlan F. Martí, Programme Officer, Trade for Development Programme, South Centre participated in the UNCTAD XII pre-event organized under the auspices of the Working Group on Trade of the United Nations Executive Committee on Economic and Social Affairs, in Bangkok from 24 -25 January 2008.

The meeting was organised as a pre-UNCTAD-XII event and, to that extent, aimed largely at influencing the debate and negotiations that will lead towards the Accra meeting. As a consequence, discussions were often aimed at issuing recommendations, although the agenda was not formulated in this manner. Event link:

Read the recent publication by South Centre jointly with ECDPM on Aid For Trade
"Aid for Trade: Twenty lessons from existing aid schemes" which reviews 3 major existing mechanisms of trade-related assistance and provides useful lessons for policymakers in the South and the North.

Statement by a Group of Concerned Caribbean Citizens Calling for Full and Public Review of the Cariforum- EC Economic Partnership Agreement

Dr. Norman Girvan, Board Member of the South Centre draws attention to the statement made by a group of concerned Caribbean citizens who are calling for a full and public review of the Cariforum- EC Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).

The statement is available at:

More commentaries on the Cariforum -EC EPA by a range of intellectuals are available at:

Monday, January 21, 2008

South Centre comments on the Innovation and Intellectual Property in the Cariforum EPA

The Cariforum-EC Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) is more than just a trade agreement: its scope embraces many subjects that have up to now been solely or mainly within national and regional jurisdiction.

The Innovation and Access to Knowledge Programme (IAKP), South Centre has shared its comments on the sections on innovation and intellectual property within the Cariforum EPA. Chapter 2 of Title IV of the draft EPA text covers issues linked with key aspects of socio-economic development of the Cariforum states (CF). One can easily assess the different levels of engagement of the parties under Section 1 and section 2. Section one largely provides for non-binding commitment, declaratory statements, and matters that will be defined during implementation. Section two largely establishes binding TRIPS-plus standards that should be implemented by the parties. If Section 1 is assumed to be of interest for CF, then what they are getting from the EPA will be largely promises that may faces the inherent difficulty of determining its scope and the kind of measures that can be considered as adequate implementation of the commitments. The implementation of Section 2 is straightforward- involving the introduction of domestic laws to implement the section that can be easily verified and assessed.

Read the entire comments at

Friday, January 18, 2008

South Bulletin: Reflections and Foresights (Issue 7) is out

The South Bulletin: Reflections and Foresights (Issue 7, 16 January 2008) produced by South Centre has been published.

The issue includes the following analysis and commentaries:

  • Editorial on Development Dialogue with Donors
  • Challenges of Aid Effectiveness- A Way Forward
  • Making Aid Accountable and Effective
  • US Patent Law Reform - Resolving the Dilemma: Any Lessons for the South?
  • Snippets on the Role of the Government
  • Op-Ed on Reshaping the Development Cooperation Architecture

The Issue can be downloaded from

The previous Issue of the South Bulletin: Reflections and Foresights (Issue 6, 16 December 2007) focused on Climate Change @ Bali and is available from:

Thursday, January 17, 2008

South Centre to participate in the Advisory Board Meeting of the UN's Development Cooperation Forum in Cairo

Dr. Yash Tandon, Executive Director of the South Centre will be participating at the High-Level Symposium on "Trends in development cooperation: South-South and triangular cooperation and aid effectiveness" being organized in Cairo from 19-20 January 2008.

As a major preparatory event for the 2008 DCF, the discussions will solicit the views of all stakeholders with regard to current experiences and future expectations of partnerships in selected areas of development cooperation. The discussions will
be captured in a report of the Cairo meeting, including key policy messages, which will serve to inform the consultative process and analytical preparations for the 2008 DCF.

More information at:

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Implications of the Cariforum-EC EPA by Norman Girvan

The Cariforum-EC Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) is more than just a trade agreement: its scope embraces many subjects that have up to now been solely or mainly within national and regional jurisdiction. As a legally binding international instrument it embodies a far higher degree of supranational governance than that of Caricom. It will, inevitably, condition the scope and content of future agreements made between Caricom and other major trading partners and the region’s stance in WTO negotiations.

Read the complete article authored by Dr. Norman Girvan, Member of the Board, South Centre at: