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Rough transcript of proceedings from WIPO SCCR on Day 1, November 20, 2012.

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>> CHAIR: Good morning, colleagues and welcome to our plenary session of the SCCR 25. Yesterday I had indicated that we'll spend the day in consultation, informal consultation in the small group format of coordinator plus five and that would have this plenary for purposes of transparency and inclusiveness on the process as we move forward and to see how the text is evolving.
I would invite Secretariat to just run through the portions of the text that were worked on yesterday, and the sort of progress that we registered yesterday. Secretariat?
>> SECRETARIAT: Good morning, everybody. As you can see in the documents distributed today, we have two sets of revised text. The first one is the preamble, and as you can see in the basic revised text that you had before from intersessional, we had 17 paragraphs in the preamble. We have moved to 12 paragraphs. The group basically worked with the alternative text, and as you can see, there's no ownership that we have clean paragraphs, only with the exception of the 12 paragraphs, the last paragraph, that's still pending.
We have a stable agreement on all of these text. We see that, for instance, in the second and the fourth paragraph, that apart from the basic proposal, we had suggested text, now we have one complete, clean clause or preamble of our paragraph, and we would say also that the eighth paragraph is quite a brand new one, still with six brackets that we hope that will be cleaned up later.
Also regarding paragraph 10 and 12, the African Group is still considering this text. That's why you find it in brackets, but we hope to hear from the group very soon to know what will be the final text.
Then you have also a set of four articles that have been revised. They are E, FI and J.
There was an article included to the extent that the national law, and then we have two brackets in the fourth and the fifth -- (No audio).
For F, which is related to obligations concerning technological measures, the changes, the basic changes are that the previous chapeau that we had for this article now is part of one alternative, it is called alternative A. The previous alternative A is deleted and new text, let's say, is part of -- or is added to the chapeau and is a new alternative A. We have alternative B, which is basically a text that is based on the agreed statements of the Beijing Treaty, regarding Article 5.
For Article G, which is related to -- relationship with contracts, we -- again, we have some part deleted the previous alternative A. Now we have a new alternative that is called alternative C. So we have basically for this new provision or this article, we have three alternatives, three optional text, that the three are in brackets. None is fully agreed on.
Then finally, regarding Article J, the main change, the main change we called this registry of authorized entities. There was a clarification that the idea is to facilitate the recognition of the identification of authorized entities, basically for the time being, it's just a provision that proposed a list of authorized entities in a voluntary basis in principle, but these are the changes, Mr. Chair.
Yeah, and there are various delegations that committed to continue working on the different text, there are four or five delegations, and we hope that we have an outcome very soon.
>> CHAIR: Thank you. So that is as far as we have gone yesterday, and when we have adjourned our informal consultations, the idea was to allow delegations working on various portions of the text to come up with common language for consideration this morning. It is my proposal that we continue in the informal setting today as well, so that we can continue to tackle the text and try to narrow the gaps within the text.
At this juncture, I would invite any comments that you may have on the work done. Venezuela.
>> VENEZUELA: Good day, Mr. Chairman. Thank you. Mr. Chairman, Venezuela would like to propose that the informal work should continue in this room because whether it's informal or formal doesn't depend on the size. And yesterday it was a real fight to try and get into a tiny room, which wasn't big enough for all of us. And so if we continue working here, the delegations that want to continue can stay and those who don't want to can go but I think that that will mean it's open enough for everybody to participate.
Secondly, Mr. Chairman, as Venezuela would like the text to make progress and for us to have a positive outcome, which will benefit millions of people worldwide, my delegation made a proposal on Article B, but we would like to, actually, withdraw that now. Thank.
>> CHAIR: The United States.
>> UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. A question for the chair and for the Secretariat, yesterday we noted that there had been some discussion of the availability of a larger room than Uptenhaugen in the new building and it was not available yesterday. For us, we think informals are very important that people can be face to face and that this kind of legislative setting is not conducive it to the kinds of discussions we need; on the other hand, we are sensitive to the concerns raised by the distinguished delegate of Venezuela. And so our inquiry for you and the Secretariat is whether that larger room, larger than Uptenhaugen is available in the new building. Thank you, Mr. Chair.
>> CHAIR: Thank you. Egypt, to be followed by Ecuador.
(No English translation).
>> CHAIR: There's still no interpretation.
>> EGYPT: Should I continue?
>> CHAIR: Just wait for a minute. I think the interpreters are organizing themselves.
>> EGYPT: Okay. Now we can continue.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. The delegation of Egypt supports the proposal made by the distinguished delegate of Venezuela because the hall where we were working yesterday was not really fit for all the delegations. It was small and we found -- I found difficulty in participating because there was a crowd and the room was crowded. There were no places and therefore, I propose that we hold our informal sessions here in this hall or another hall where there are facilities. Thank you, Mr. Chair.
>> CHAIR: Thank you. Ecuador.
>> ECUADOR: Thank you, chairman. Let me say that our delegation also submitted a proposal, but we can't withdraw it yet until we consulted capital. So we would like this proposal to maintain on the space issue.
>> CHAIR: Venezuela, could you clarify what article you were referring to?
>> VENEZUELA: Thank you. Chairman, this article is a -- and we made this proposal a long time ago. It's the same as referred to by Ecuador. It was supported by Ecuador, but since we made the proposal, we can also withdraw it. But if Ecuador wants to keep it, that is the case for Ecuador, but we think that since we proposed it, we can withdraw it. We did get one or two delegations supporting it, but we do think that since we initiated it, we can withdraw it.
But what I would like to say that all international agreements and treaties are a guide. It's a kind of general project that is then developed in national legislation. We think if we put more straight jackets on an international agreement, we make it much more difficult to progress and make headway, therefore, the idea of reinterpretation of the rule has been analyzed in our capital and we think it further complicate an agreement which is almost mature and ready for adoption. And if the three steps rule, it's an old one. We think that we could withdraw it and we could show our flexibility this week by doing that. So the last thing in our mind is to come into conflict with our sister delegation of Ecuador. We are grateful for their support. We are not necessarily seeking support. We made the proposal. We are grateful for the support. We now wish to withdraw our proposal as a concession by Venezuela, but if Ecuador wants to maintain that proposal, then we have no objection either. Thank you.
>> CHAIR: Thank you, Venezuela. We have taken note of your position and we also take note of Ecuador's position.
Now, there is the issue of the meeting room, where should we meet for the informal consultations. Before I address the issue -- the question of the USA, let me address the issue raised by Venezuela.
In my consultations yesterday, with the regional coordinators, this is a matter that was considered resolved. And I also indicated in plenary that we need to maintain some balance between effectiveness, transparency and inclusiveness so that we can make some progress, and in this light, I had indicated that we shall follow our informal consultations from the small group to plenary, so that all delegations are able to follow what is happening and able to make comments on plenary on any developments in the text.
So I assumed and I still believe that that is the position that I have the support of Member States to proceed in that format.
In regards to the question from the USA, may I ask Secretariat to respond to that?
>> SECRETARIAT: Yes. So with regard to the room available in the new building, technically speaking, that room only accommodates four more chairs or seats, as far as the fire code, however, it is true, it is actually a much larger room.
At the moment, the room is booked. We have been told by our conference services, that if they wanted us to try to switch, basically everything booked into that room into Uptenhaugen so we could have the room for the rest of the week. They would need a little lead time. Perhaps they can do it by this afternoon. The group that was booked for today has started today, but it would be possible to make those kinds of arrangements.
So, you know, the room was basically fully booked all week. We can try to move things around. The issue you is that we would have to commit to that room once we move everybody, and as we noted yesterday, unfortunately that room can only accommodate interpretation in two languages. So, you know, we would have to agree to go from three in the Uptenhaugen room to two in that room. And that's something that Member States would have to be comfortable with. I believe I was hearing yesterday that perhaps that would be English and French but there was also some calling for other languages. So those are the realities of our situation at the moment.
An accommodation that we have tried to arrange overnight is to have essentially a private transcript of the discussions in the Uchtenhagen room available on the screen in room B so the delegates could sit in that room, who aren't able to be in the Uchtenhagen room and see the realtime transcript, which is not perfect, but is pretty good. It is in English. It would be on the screen in the room. This is for Member States. It's just as if we are having an informal and inviting Member States in the room. We would have designated spokespersons for each group. That's something that we are prepared to do as of this morning and that was how we were trying to accommodate the situation, but, of course, we would like to work with the Member States for what, given our constraints you feel is the best arrangement. Thank you.
>> CHAIR: Thank you, Secretariat. Venezuela.
>> VENEZUELA: Thank you. We would like to thank the United States and Egypt for their support. We don't want to complicate your work, but we think we should try and have some correction to the work done here. What we don't want is that the work done in the small group is signed and sealed. We want the -- perhaps the work to be done here, but this is still an informal text, which is subject to approval. It can always be corrected and improved and amended. Thank you.
>> CHAIR: Thank you, Venezuela.
Are there any comments? Morocco.
>> MOROCCO: Thank you, sir. Can we stay in this room in order to follow the same plan that's followed in the Uchtenhagen room, namely the five regional representatives and the others can just follow because those who have come from capitals could follow so that they can really be on top of our work. Thank you.
>> CHAIR: Thank you. Colleagues, I do not want to allow our meeting to get stuck in this logistical arrangements. I think these are the issues that I have tried at every turn to address before the beginning of every session, and I take time to consult on these issues, and I believe the issue is resolved. I do not think that we should be reopening things that we have agreed to.
Now, in trying to -- in trying to accommodate delegations, yesterday we had an arrangement of coordinator plus five. The only difference is that yesterday we were very strict because the five -- or the five representatives from each group had to be one individual from a country, from a given country, other than having maybe one country having two or three or four persons. So we were quite strict on that.
If we follow that rule strictly, I can then suggest that we can even increase to one plus six, if that will help the coordination of various delegations.
That said, I think that we are still going to proceed in the format that we followed yesterday. And I have to report back that the -- the format that we used yesterday was very conducive and we had positive discussions and interaction and I think we need to continue on that. India?
>> INDIA: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I thank you for the time for the plenary and the text in the informal. Our delegation was part of the informal consultations or the informal group discussing the draft text, how far, we also support the concerns raised by the distinguished delegates of Venezuela, Egypt and some others. Maybe the format was very strict that one individual from each country could be part of the drafting group, but for the transparency sake and this is the final stage of negotiation, we also think that there should be more coordination between the Geneva-based delegates and the experts who have come from the capital and in this strict format, sometimes we feel that there could be some gap.
So we also would like to have some flexibility of more participation from the Member States and also more than one delegation, if it is possible in this room or in any bigger room than Uchtenhagen. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
>> CHAIR: Thank you. Japan.
>> JAPAN: Thank you, Mr. Chair. Japanese delegation shares the same concern expressed by Indian delegation, and the other delegations. I think as you mentioned, we need to think of efficiency but at the same time, we need much more transparency. And we don't think observing people, observing delegations or the staff -- sorry, limited one person per delegation, but I don't think the other member of the delegations who helps the head of the delegation will not disturb the discussion and we are not -- we are not going to make problems on the issues. So the Japanese delegation prefers much more bigger room and although the other staff -- not only one person, but the delegation, but also the other members of the delegation can be allowed to enter the room, and also the other members should be allowed to observe the discussion in any means. Thank you.
>> CHAIR: Thank you, colleagues. I take note of your comments, and concerns raised about our organisation of the consultations.
>> UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. We are certainly sympathetic to the concerns expressed by many delegations to ensure we have the right balance between efficiency and transparency. For our delegation, our experience over the years has been that for things to succeed, we need to have a face-to-face environment, where delegations can really talk to each other and no offense to the architect who designed this building, but this room is not particularly conducive to working out tough issues.
On the other hand, listening to what many delegations have said, perhaps the chair could recommend to us a schedule that allowed a meeting in the Uchtenhagen to be followed by time for capital experts and Geneva-based representatives to consult with one another so that perhaps there could be a hybrid model, not necessarily -- I don't think the complaints mentioned and the concerns raised by people are necessarily that we need to return to this room but this needs to be opportunity for consultation among full delegation and consultation between Geneva-based representative and capital experts and perhaps the chair could recommend to us a hybrid schedule that would permit a little more of that.
Thank you, Mr. Chair. Peru? Perruzza long that line, it would be useful to know what articles we are going to take up in the morning and the afternoon so that people can be prepared. Perhaps each delegation has an expert on a particular notion, I mean, we might take, ABC in the morning and then HJ or something. And I think that it would be better if we knew that, and especially if we are going to have such a small space. Thank you.
>> CHAIR: Thank you, Peru. I think that what we'll do is that we'll consult with Secretariat on the room in the new building, when it could be available so that we can then move and expand the group for informal consultations from Uchtenhagen to the bigger room, and that will be able to accommodate more people. But in the meantime, we will continue in Uchtenhagen until that room, the bigger room is available.
Now, Secretariat has informed us that this arrangement to have transcript in the -- in Room B strictly for Member States to follow the discussions in Uchtenhagen. So that provides, you know, member states the opportunity to follow the discussions.
Now, in terms of the issue raised by Peru, yesterday we had agreed in the informal consultations that we will go back to preamble, start with the preamble. There are two or three -- three provisions that we need to clean up, eighth, tenth and 12th. So those will be dealt with, particularly we are expecting some feedback from the African Group.
And then we will proceed with the definition clause. We have a lot of work to do on authorized entities. I think that in the last -- in the intercession, we assigned a few of our colleagues to work on this aspect. So we want to have feedback. And then we'll move to b-bis where we had assigned certain delegations to come back to us. So there are various areas that we had assigned delegations to come back with language and we want to revisit that language.
So, plenary will then meet again at 10:00 tomorrow to review the work that would have done in the informal setting. I will then now invite Secretariat to make announcements.
>> SECRETARIAT: Thank you very much. Two aof announcements, please, give us any comments on the list of participants so we can get the final list out by the end of this week.
The second is that we have two side events scheduled at lunchtime this week. One tomorrow, Wednesday, the other on Thursday. On Wednesday, we have a panel discussion on copyright and access to education that is arranged by the international center for trade and sustainable development. Several of your delegates will be participating in that. It will be held in Room B and then a light lunch will be served.
On Thursday, the negotiation of Nollywood producers in association with the international association of film producers associations will hold a panel discussion entitled Nollywood at the crossroads. There will be panelists involved in production of films in Nollywood and that event will take place in Room B also on Thursday. And also a light lunch will be available for that event at 1 p.m. Both of those events will take place in Room B Wednesday and Thursday. Thank you.
>> CHAIR: Thank you. European Union.
>> EUROPEAN UNION: Thank you, Mr. Chair. I would like to announce an EU at 2 p.m. It will be at 2 p.m. in Room B.
>> CHAIR: Thank you. Are there any announcements from regional coordinators?
None. So we will break into the informal setting in Uchtenhagen. The time now is about 10 to 11:00. So we will resume -- we will commence our discussions in Uchtenhagen at 11:00 and this plenary is adjourned until 10:00 tomorrow.
(end of plenary session)
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