At the outset, my delegations wishes to align itself with the statement made by the distinguished delegation of Nigeria on behalf of the African Group. Botswana wishes to express disappointment on the fact that no decisions were made during the 54th General Assembly meetings on critical issues of interest to Africa and other developing countries, such as the Intergovernmental Committee (IGC), External Offices and Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR). However, my delegation remains committed to engage with other Member States towards making meaningful conclusions during this Assembly. In that regard, Mr. Chair, Botswana aligns itself with the proposal of the African Group document No. WO/GA/47/16 for the conversion of the IGC into a Standing Committee.
My delegation supports the resuming of text-based negotiations on Genetic Resources (GRs), Traditional Knowledge (TK) and Traditional Cultural Expressions (TCEs), with a view to establishing an international legally binding instrument that will ensure the effective protection of GRs, TK, and TCEs. Further, Mr. Chair, Botswana like other African countries, is concerned about the non-existence of External Offices on the African continent. In view of the benefits of external offices, Botswana begs the indulgence of the General Assembly to approve the establishment of two EOs in Africa within the 2016/17 biennium as proposed by the African Group.
From the Program Performance Report document No. A/55/6, my delegation takes note of progress made on the accession and ratification of the two (2) new copyright treaties, namely the Beijing Treaty and the Marrakesh Treaty. Botswana is one of the first member states to ratify the Beijing Treaty and looks forward to its implementation. I am pleased to announce that Botswana has begun the process of acceding to the Marrakesh Treaty. Mr. Chair, I am pleased to advise that Botswana has established the Companies and Intellectual Property Authority (CIPA) as an autonomous body. This process has been completed. CIPA is now in full operation and is embarking on reforms intended to enhance effectiveness and efficiency in the protection of business interests and intellectual property.
I am confident that with the continued support of WIPO, Botswana, through CIPA will achieve its objectives. At this juncture, allow me, on behalf of my delegation to extend sincere appreciation for WIPO’s continued support in the development and growth of Botswana’s intellectual property system. Currently, WIPO and Botswana are engaging to transform CIPA into a model IP Office for the provision of online registration of IP rights, which will improve access to IP services and enhance service delivery. Botswana recognises the need to improve its creative industries at national level. My delegation appreciates WIPO’s move towards supporting collective management through initiatives such as WIPO Connect as alluded to by the Director General in his report.
In the same vein, Botswana calls upon WIPO to support copyright offices in the administration of copyright laws through the development and dissemination of automated systems for recordal of copyright protected works, distribution of authentication devices and the administration of the private copy levy.
Chairman of Companies and Intellectual Property Authority (CIPA) Botswana addressing the 55th World Inteelectual Proiperty Organisation(WIPO) Series of Assemblies in Geneva, SWITZERLAND