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Media Release

Geneva, Switzerland



Australia and WIPO Sign Agreement in Favour of Least-Developed and Developing Countries

 15 June 2012


Released jointly by Australian Permanent Mission to the World Trade Organization and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)

Australia and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) today signed an agreement detailing how an AUD$2 million Australian contribution would assist least-developed and developing countries improve their intellectual property systems.

Australia’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the World Trade Organization, Tim Yeend, said Australia’s contribution built upon existing cooperation between WIPO and IP Australia in relation to the provision of IP-related technical assistance and capacity building in the Asia-Pacific region.

“Australia’s contribution demonstrates its commitment to assisting least-developed and developing countries to promote and protect their creativity and innovation through the intellectual property system,” he said.

The memorandum of understanding identifies four areas for funding: developing intellectual property systems; promoting technology transfer; addressing neglected tropical diseases and ensuring persons with print disabilities have equal access to published works as persons without print disabilities.

WIPO Director General Francis Gurry welcomed Australia’s contribution which he said would serve the development needs of least-developed and developing countries.

“This generous contribution will cover projects to help least-developed and developing countries build capacity in the field of intellectual property and ensure they were in a position to actively participate in the benefits of innovation and the knowledge economy,” he said.

WIPO, as the lead United Nations agency mandated to promote the protection of intellectual property through cooperation among states and in collaboration with other international organisations, is committed to ensuring that all countries are able to benefit from the use of IP for economic, social and cultural development.

Australia’s $2 million contribution to WIPO is part of an AusAID AUD$16 million package to help least-developed and developing countries benefit from global trade.

For more information on Australia's aid for trade initiatives see: and




Australian support for Indigenous Participation at WIPO

 26 September 2011


Australian Ambassador to the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), Tim Yeend, today announced that Australia will contribute A$100,000 to the WIPO Voluntary Fund for Accredited Indigenous and Local Communities.

In his Magna Carta Lecture Tjurkurpu: For the Indigenous Peoples of the World,
Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd outlined Australia’s strong commitment to helping Indigenous communities make the most of their intellectual property, including working within WIPO to support effective Indigenous participation in WIPO meetings.

Australia’s contribution will help to finance the participation of indigenous and local communities in the work of the WIPO Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Traditional Cultural Expressions (WIPO IGC).

WIPO Director General Francis Gurry welcomed Australia’s contribution. “Australia’s donation to the WIPO Voluntary Fund will greatly help to facilitate the valuable contribution of Indigenous and Local Community representatives to the work of the WIPO IGC, which is reaching a crucial stage,” Mr Gurry said.

Established by the WIPO General Assembly in October 2000, the WIPO IGC is undertaking text-based negotiations with the objective of reaching agreement on a text of an international legal instrument (or instruments) which will ensure the effective protection of traditional knowledge (TK), traditional cultural expressions (TCEs)/folklore and genetic resources.

Australia is committed to a successful outcome to the negotiations in the WIPO IGC and welcomed the IGC’s recommendation to the General Assemblies for the renewal of its mandate.

“We hope Australia’s contribution to the WIPO Voluntary Fund will help to contribute to an outcome in the WIPO IGC that is well informed and appropriately balanced” said Ambassador Yeend. “We value the contribution of Indigenous and Local Communities representatives to the IGC.”

Australia’s contribution to the WIPO Voluntary Fund follows the announcement last week that Australia would contribute a further $100,000 to the UN Voluntary Fund for Indigenous Populations, which assists representatives of Indigenous peoples’ organisations to participate in relevant UN human rights meetings.