[lg policy] Language policy of World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at GMAIL.COM
Thu Sep 30 14:47:07 UTC 2010

Language Policy adopted by the General Assembly of WIPO, September 2010

The General Assembly:

(i) took note with appreciation of the information contained in
document WO/PBC/15/9 as a positive step towards the establishment of a
policy on languages at WIPO;

(ii) requested the Secretariat to increase the share of outsourced
translation, in particular to developing regions/countries, in
accordance with WIPO procurement rules, and take necessary measures to
ascertain that the quality of the outsourced translation is up to
standard, and submit to the next session of the PBC information on the
savings that may be derived from such increased outsourcing;

(iii) requested the Secretariat to establish rigorous criteria with
respect to outsourcing options;

(iv) welcomed the initiatives taken by the Secretariat to introduce
electronic recording of conference proceedings and, progressively,
webcasting thereof on the WIPO website, and requested that this be
extended to all official meetings of WIPO;


(v) recognizing that more concise working documents would facilitate
deliberations, approved the proposal made by the Secretariat to
further reduce the average length of the working documents, on the
understanding, however, that such further reduction would not be a
statutory requirement but an indication of principle, and that while
quality of information should be ensured, it would not apply to
documents submitted to the Secretariat by Member States;

(vi) adopted the proposal made by the Secretariat in paragraphs 40 and
41 of document WO/PBC/15/9 (whereby exceptionally voluminous documents
and support papers (studies, surveys) that may be commissioned by
certain Committees will be made available only in the original
languages, with a summary to be prepared by the Secretariat in all six
languages) on the understanding, however, that if a Member State or a
group of Member States were to express specific interest in one of
such documents, the Secretariat would translate its full text in the
required language;

(vii) noted with appreciation that through immediate implementation of
the provisions of (v) and (vi) above, the Secretariat will be able to
extend language coverage to all six official languages of the UN
(Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish) for
documentation of the SCCR and SCT as from January 1, 2011. It is
understood that, as a first stage, the implementation of the extended
six language coverage to other WIPO Committees, as defined in document
WO/PBC/15/9, is proposed to begin as of 2012. If resource adjustments
are required by the introduction of the new policy, these will be
factored into the draft Program and Budget for 2012/13 after
consideration by the PBC;

(viii) noted that the resource adjustments for beginning
implementation, as of 2012, of the extended language coverage to WIPO
Committees, as defined in (vii) above and in document WO/PBC/15/9, as
well as to Working Groups, shall be discussed in the context of the
Program and Budget process for 2012/13. In order to facilitate the
discussions under this process, the Secretariat shall, as a first
step, provide detailed information on current resources under Program
27 by November 25, 2010. The Chair or Vice-Chair of the PBC shall
convene, within this process, a dedicated half-day informal
consultation in conjunction with the extraordinary session of the PBC
in January 2011 with a view to having a clear understanding of the
cost implications as a result of the introduction of the new policy.
Based on the financial information provided by the Secretariat, a
decision concerning the extended language coverage for the Working
Groups shall be taken at the next formal session of the PBC in 2011;

(ix) decided that the progress made in the implementation of the new
policy, and follow-up on the 2000 decision of the Assemblies of the
Member States of WIPO (paragraph 14 of document WO/PBC/15/9 refers),
will be discussed at the next formal session of the PBC in 2011, with
a view to making recommendations thereon to the September 2011 WIPO
General Assembly;

(x) noted that the extension of language coverage in the WIPO
Committees would be reflected in the language section of the rules of
procedure of the respective WIPO Committees.

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