Day one of the United Nations World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) Provisional Committee on a Development Agenda (PCDA) for WIPO is over. It started rather slow because the selection of the chair turned out to be highly controversial — the majority of industrialised countries favored the Romanian ambassador, the majority of developing countries were in favor of Paraguay chairing the meeting.
Until 12:45 it looked as if the meeting would break for lunch before it had started, but just before the lunch break at 13:00, the Romanian ambassador took himself out of the race, breaking the deadlock and allowing Paraguays represenative Rigoberto Gauto Vielman to be elected as chair to the meeting.
That the selection of the chair was such a controversial issue shows how serious the countries take this meeting — that so many ambassadors from developing nations showed up is another. So this week could become very interesting.
The afternoon did not bring many surprises, though: First came the general statements of the regions and groups of countries — it is normal to group in regions or grade of industrialisation to form common positions in order to allow a "bundling" of interests in the UN context. Then came the presentations of the various proposals by the groups that had put them forward.
While this held little surprise in terms of positions, it was still good to see some substance discussed on the first day. Also, some of the statements were interesting. So a very small amount of optimism may be warranted, but only in small doses: the blockade position of the United States still seems rather identical to the one they took throughout the past year of negotiations. They seem to have moved sideways, but not really forward.
Other Reports on the Event
As usual, several people are following this event in their blogs, including our friends from the EFF and CPTech. While the EFF will only put their things online tomorrow, Thiru should put his entry online soon in his blog. There is also the IP-watch article about the first day.
Update: In case you can read Portugese, you can also read this article on Cultura Livre.