The member states of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) appointed Francis Gurry by consensus on May 8, 2014, to a second six-year term of office as Director General of the Organization.
Mr. Gurry’s appointment by the General Assembly, WIPO’s highest governing body, followed his nomination by consensus by the WIPO Coordination Committee in March.
After the chair gaveled the final decision by member states, Mr. Gurry told delegates in his acceptance speech: “I believe that the fundamental challenge that we face as an Organization is to achieve a shared understanding of the contribution and value of intellectual property to economic, social and cultural development.”
He said: “I very much look forward to working with all member states over the coming mandate. The politics of intellectual property are, in my view, becoming more, rather than less, challenging…I would view this as a natural consequence of the increased economic value of intangibles and innovation and of the mission of intellectual property of finding the right balance in relation to all the interests that surround innovation in our society.”
Delegates representing member states then took the floor to congratulate Mr. Gurry and welcome the Organization’s achievements during his first term, including the adoption of two new treaties in the field of copyright as well as a number of development-related initiatives.
The second term of Mr. Gurry, an Australian national, will run from October 1, 2014, through September 2020.
Mr. Gurry is the fourth Director General of WIPO, following Dr. Kamil Idris of Sudan (1997-2008), Mr. Arpad Bogsch of the United States (1973-1997) and Mr. Georg Bodenhausen of the Netherlands (1970-1973).
The process of electing a Director General is governed by the Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization and “The Procedures for the Nomination and Appointment of Directors General of WIPO,” adopted by the General Assembly of WIPO in September 1998.