Holy See on Intellectual Property Rights

"Their Regulation Requires a Balanced Norm"

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GENEVA, OCT. 1, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Here is the address Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Holy See's permanent observer at the U.N. offices in Geneva, gave at the 45th series of meetings of the member states of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). The meetings began Sept. 22 and ended Tuesday.



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Mr. President,

The Delegation of the Holy See joins previous speakers and expresses its congratulations to you for your able leadership and to our new Director General Dr. Francis Gurry. It looks forward to a renewed and dynamic service of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) as it advances knowledge in the best interest of every human person and for the just progress of every country.

The Holy See is particularly attentive to the ethical and social dimensions that in a unique way flow from, affect, and mark out, the human person and her action. It certainly recognizes in intellectual property the characteristic value of innovation and of creativity, of intelligence in all its aspects. At the same time, in any undertaking of thought and action, in every scientific, technical or juridical approach, intellectual property is called to respect creation both in the area of knowledge and discovery and in the recognition of the nature of things: matter, intellect, living beings, and, above all, the human person.

Human ingenuity is multifaceted, resourceful and capable of finding responses to the challenges that confront the human family. The constant request to register new patents evidences such ingenuity and their regulation requires a balanced norm so that the impact on the economy may be beneficial, as well, to the poorer countries and may value their specificity and identities. In fact, all countries contribute unique gifts stemming from their economic, social, cultural and spiritual traditions.

Among the various important areas of concern that engage the committed staff of WIPO, some new debates are of particular interest to this Delegation:

-- the possibilities and the implications of international protection of genetic resources, traditional knowledge, folklore and cultural expressions

-- the requirement of a legal implementation of copyrights and related issues concerning the protection of the rights of broadcasting organizations

-- and, above all, the process that has allowed the organization of the work in such a way that it now can take into account the expectation of development together with the requirements of norms and technologies related to intellectual property.

In conclusion, Mr. President, with our renewed congratulations to the new DG, and thanks to his predecessor, Dr. Kamil Idris, it has to be stated that, through its creativity and sense of solidarity, WIPO can, and has the responsibility to, contribute in a major way to the strengthening of a peaceful and more equitable international community.

Thank you.