The day begins with work on the point 7 of the Agenda: namely “Continuation of discussion on coordination mechanisms and monitoring, assessing and reporting modalities”. Did you have to read that twice? Yes, me too. I am worried that the Development Agenda is mired on procedural minutiae as agreeing on monitoring mechanisms.

There are few things to report so far this morning. There is an ongoing war of words between the representatives of Venezuela and Spain. The Spanish ambassador has been speaking on behalf of the European Union, so he has been reading statements in English because that is the language in which the statements were drafted and approved. The Venezuelan ambassador complained about this in his intervention, arguing that Spanish is one of the official languages at WIPO, and should be defended. I found this comment to be both a bit impolite and also a typical inane Chavista point-scoring exercise. The Spanish ambassador spoke today on behalf of the EU again. Before his intervention (in English), he quoted Don Quixote. Sancho compplains to Don Quixote because he has allowed another noble to go first at a crossing. Don Quixote responds: “Sancho, lo cortés no quita lo valiente” (“Sancho, politeness does not equal cowardice”). Snap!

Another highlight was that the U.S. ambassador asked for the prompt resolution of the procedural items so that the Committee could move to the more important substantive issues. I agreed wholeheartedly.

And finally, one small anecdote to paint a picture of the meeting. The meeting room has no loudspeaker system. Correction, it has one, but it is turned off. This means that the entire proceeding is transmitted through the translator earpieces. This makes the room a very quiet one, so whenever a speaker raises their voice, it is quite unnerving, as it resonates all around the assembly room.

And the final shallow point. I love the variety of ring tones you get at an international city.

Categories: Conferences


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