Access to Knowledge: a guide for everyone Page: 14
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ment Agenda had its genesis in a proposal offered by Argentina and Brazil
on the "Establishment of a Development Agenda for WIPO". This pro-
posal came out of the Geneva Declaration on the Future of the World In-
tellectual Property Organisation and was co-sponsored by Bolivia, Cuba,
the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Iran, Kenya, Sierra Leone,
South Africa, Tanzania and Venezuela.
The dilemma for developing countries ... lies in the fact that in the major-
ity of cases these countries are net importers of knowledge and technol-
ogy. This has increasingly set the alarm bells about the importance and
need for reforming the underperforming educational regimes prevailing
in these countries, whereby the cycle of knowledge production and de-
velopment often commences. Notably, the production of knowledge in
today's environment is mainly governed and codified by legal rules re-
ferred to as Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs).
- Mohammed El Said (Biblioteca Alexandria (2009), 53)
Together with Argentina and Brazil, these countries argued that the
various degrees of intellectual property rights protection should reflect
the level of development of any given country. The proposal, often re-
ferred to as "Item 12" due to its place on the meeting agenda list, was also
supported by India, albeit in a separate but similar statement.
"The term 'development' as used by these (developed) countries, in-
cluding in WIPO, means quite the opposite of what developing countries
understand when they refer to the 'development dimension'," said In-
dia's representative to WIPO, Debabrata Saha with regards to the Devel-
opment Agenda proposal.
Saha added: "If you share the perspective of the developed countries,
'development' means increasing a developing country's capacity to pro-
vide protection to the overwhelmingly developed country owners of IP
On 4 October 2004, the WIPO General Assembly agreed to adopt the
Argentina and Brazil proposal. Civil society groups too quickly rallied
around this proposal, drafting their Geneva Declaration on the Future
of the World Intellectual Property Organisation that year, followed by the
draft Treaty on Access to Knowledge in 2005.
The Development Agenda itself contains 45 recommendations in six
clusters, which include the promotion of a development-oriented IP cul-
ture, the preservation of the public domain, and the exchange of expe-
riences on open collaborative projects. To date five meetings of WIPO's
Committee on Development and Intellectual Property (CDIP) have been
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Noronha, Frederick & Malcolm, Jeremy. Access to Knowledge: a guide for everyone, text, 2010; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33297/m1/24/: accessed March 22, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; .