Thursday, May 15, 2008

South Centre organizes Meeting on SECURE / World Customs Organization

The South Centre organises a working lunch for its member countries in view of certain developments on issues concerning intellectual property (IP) enforcement at the World Customs Organisation (WCO). The WCO is increasingly focussing on the formation of enhanced border measures, primarily supported by G8 countries. In this connection, the third meeting of the Working Group on the provisional Standards Employed by Customs for Uniform Rights Enforcement (SECURE) in Brussels from April 24 to 25, 2008.

The meeting called for by the Innovation and Access to Knowledge Programme (IAKP) of the South Centre focused on the implications and possible strategies that developing countries must adopt in making their concerns properly addressed at the WCO. Dr. Xuan Li, Coordinator of the IAKP gave a presentation on the defects in both the process and contents in WCO SECURE draft provisions. According to Dr. Li, many provisions are TRIPS-Plus, which the developed countries were trying to push hard through the back door.

The member country delegates raised serious concerns over the choice of forum on IP enforcement related issues and strongly stated that such provisions in SECURE, and WCO as a forum to discuss IP enforcement, was totally unacceptable. The need for better coordination among and within developing countries was emphasised.