Centre for Internet & Society

In the second blog in this series, I profile the work of the IP team of Third World Network (TWN) at the various International Organisations in Geneva.

About the Organisation

Third World Network is an organisation that engages in research and advocacy relating to development, developing countries and North-South affairs. Their mission is to bring about a greater articulation of the needs and rights of peoples in the South, a fair distribution of world resources, and forms of development which are ecologically sustainable and fulfil human needs.[1] As an international NGO, they have a strong presence in Geneva representing third world interests in many of the International Organisations that are located here.

International Organisations in Geneva

TWN attends meetings at the WIPO, WHO and is part of APBREBES which has observer status at UPOV.  It also follows the activities of the WTO TRIPS Council (although it is not an observer). Their work is centred on development issues and issues affecting developing countries in particular and largely revolves around meetings/sessions held by these organisations.

Work at the WIPO

TWN closely follows all the main WIPO Committees including the Development and Intellectual Property (CDIP), the Standing Committee on the Law of Patents (SCP), Standing Committee on the Law of Trademarks, Industrial Designs and Geographical Indications (SCT) and the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR).

TWN’s main activities with regard to WIPO consists of monitoring and reporting on developments in various WIPO committees and also providing relevant technical assistance and expertise on various issues being discussed. Members of the team also document the proceedings of relevant meetings, which is then used to produce analysis for public consumption.

TWN also produces documents summarizing the issues to be discussed before a meeting as part of their advocacy efforts. This helps raise awareness regarding issues that may affect developing countries. They sometimes engage in capacity building through policy research to engage with representatives from developing countries in order to better inform policy makers.


TWN publishes reports and analysis of the proceeding of the WIPO meetings via its mailing list –IP Info.. The published articles are available on their website.

[1]. See http://www.twnside.org.sg/twnintro.htm

I would like the thank Alexandra Bhattacharya for agreeing to do the interview which was the primary source of this blog.

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