James Anaya, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, gave the keynote speech at the opening of the 18th session of the World Intellectual Property Organization’s Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge, and Folkore, on May 9 in Geneva. In his speech, he stressed that Indigenous peoples’ demands to maintain control over their traditional knowledge and cultural expressions are grounded in widely applicable principles of fundamental human rights. A summary of Anaya’s speech is entitled, “The Collective Rights of Indigenous Peoples: Their Conceptual Foundations and Implications”.
The WIPO committee is in the process of drafting text for an international legal instrument on traditional knowledge, genetic resources, and traditional cultural expressions. However, the May 9-13 negotiations hit a roadblock regarding issues of disclosure and the participation of Indigenous peoples in particular. Read an analysis of the negotiations in Volume 11, Number 9 of Bridges Trade BioRes.