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Culture

The International Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage came into force in 1975 when Switzerland became the 20th state to deposit its instrument of accession with the Director General. The objective of the Convention, which was a U.S. initiative, is to preserve the world's cultural and natural heritage by stimulating governments to restore, preserve, and protect within their own territories cultural sites and natural areas having universal significance for mankind. At UNESCO's 19th General Conference in November 1976, parties to the Convention will elect members to a World Heritage Committee which will be responsible for administering both a "World Heritage List" of cultural and natural properties considered of outstanding universal value and a "List of World Heritage in Danger."

The UNESCO Executive Board in 1975 drew up plans for several cultural conferences and meetings to be held in early 1976. The United States informed the Director General that it would participate in the meeting of a special committee of governmental experts to prepare a draft international instrument on the exchange of original objects and specimens among institutions in different countries, and in the meeting to prepare an international instrument for the preservation of historic quarters, towns, and sites and their integration into a modern environment. The United States supports the objectives of both of these proposed instruments. However, the United States said it would not participate in a meeting to prepare an international instrument to ensure that people have free, democratic access to culture and participate actively in the cultural life of society. The United States told the Director General that it did not believe it possible or wise to attempt to construct an international cultural policy with universal applicability, given the diversity of the world's peoples and cultures. The United States believes that UNESCO's resources would be better used in assisting individual member states to formulate cultural policies suited to their own particular conditions.

A U.S. observer delegation, headed by the U.S. Permanent Representative to UNESCO, William B. Jones, attended the Intergovernmental Conference on Cultural Policies in Africa, held in Accra, Ghana, October 27 November 6, 1975. One of a series of ministerial-level meetings on cultural policy being sponsored by UNESCO, the Accra conference dealt with the themes of cultural identity, cultural action, and cultural development, as important factors in social evolution in the African context.

Communications

The concepts of free flow of information and freedom of expression received a setback in 1975 as a result of action taken in Paris at the December 15-22 Intergovernmental Meeting of Experts to Prepare a Draft Declaration on Fundamental Principles Governing the Use of the Mass Media in Strengthening Peace and International Understanding and in Combating War Propaganda, Racism, and Apartheid. At issue was whether governments should be held responsible and accountable for the contents and dissemination of news by mass media organizations within their countries. In participating in the meeting, the United States had hoped to counter any trend toward governmental control of the collection and dissemination of news, which is wholly inimical to the American understanding of a free and unfettered press.

The adoption, by a rollcall vote of 33 to 22 (U.S.), with 7 abstentions, of a preambular paragraph to the draft declaration referring to the 30th General Assembly resolution equating Zionism to racism (see p. 212) precipitated a withdrawal from the meeting by the United States, Western European states, Canada, and Australia in protest of both the introduction of this issue and the violation of the meeting's agreed-upon procedure of working by consensus. Following the withdrawal, the Soviet Union, which had initiated the move for the declaration, and the other remaining members adopted a draft text by a vote of 41 to 8, with 3 abstentions. The draft declaration is to be debated and voted on at the 19th General Conference of UNESCO in 1976.

WORLD INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY ORGANIZATION

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) was established by a convention signed at Stockholm in 1967 which entered into force on April 26, 1970; the United States is a party to the convention. WIPO is the principal worldwide organization responsible for promoting the protection of copyrights and industrial property (i.e. patents, trademarks, and industrial designs). WIPO is also responsible for the administration of 10 intergovernmental "unions," each founded on a multilateral treaty. The two principal treaties are the 1883 Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, which has 81 parties, and the 1886 Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, which has 63 parties. The United States is a party to the former convention, but not the latter. Other WIPO-administered intellectual property treaties to which the United States is a party are the 1957 Nice Agreement concerning the International Classification of Goods and Services for the purposes of Registration of Marks, the 1958 Locarno Agreement Establishing

an International Classification of Industrial Designs, the 1971 Strasbourg International Patent Classification Agreement, and the 1971 Geneva Convention for the Protection of Producers of Phonograms Against Unauthorized Duplication of Their Phonograms.

The membership of WIPO rose to 63 during 1975 with the accession of 25 states 34

Administrative Organization

The Paris and Berne conventions had each provided for an international bureau to serve as secretariat for its union. These were united in 1893, eventually under the name of the United International Bureaux for the Protection of Intellectual Property (BIRPI). Although BIRPI still has a legal existence for states which are members of one of the unions but not of WIPO, in practice it has been supplanted by the International Bureau established by the Stockholm convention to be the secretariat of WIPO. The International Bureau operates under the direction of the member states through a General Assembly and a Conference which meet triennially. The principal administrative organ of the Paris and Berne unions is the Assembly of each union, consisting of all the member states. The Paris and Berne unions elect Executive Committees from all of their member states and the joint membership of these two Committees constitutes the coordination Committee which meets annually and is entrusted with the normal tasks of such a governing body. Since the United States is a member of the Paris union Executive Committee, it is also a member of the Coordination Committee.

Objectives and Activities

One of the two basic objectives of WIPO is to promote the protection of intellectual property on a worldwide basis. In support of this objective WIPO encourages the conclusion of new international treaties and the harmonization of national laws; it gives legaltechnical assistance to developing countries; it assembles and disseminates information on intellectual property; and it maintains international registration services in the fields of trademarks, industrial designs, and appellations of origin.

The second basic objective of WIPO is to ensure administrative cooperation among the unions. Centralizing the administration of the various unions in the

34 Algeria, Belgium, Benin, Brazil, Chile, Congo, Cuba, Egypt, Gabon, Holy See, India, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, Niger, Poland, Portugal, South Africa, South Viet-Nam, Togo, Tunisia, Upper Volta, Zaire.

International Bureau helps ensure economy both for the member states and for the private sector concerned with intellectual property.

Assistance to Developing countries

In 1975 WIPO's legal-technical assistance program included projects in nine developing countries. The most ambitious of these was a 5-year UNDP-financed project to assist the Government of Brazil in modernizing the Brazilian patent system. WIPO assigned 25 experts from developed countries to the project, which includes training courses in patent classification, searching and examination, assistance in reorganizing the Brazilian patent organization and procedures, and establishment of a usable search file of patent documents. Assistance was provided other countries to help modernize industrial property legislation, establish or reorganize industrial property offices, and train personnel in patent procedures. Work on formulating a Model Law for developing countries on inventions and know-how was carried out both within the International Bureau and in special working committees convened for that purpose.

To further its objective of promoting worldwide protection of intellectual property, WIPO established in 1973 a Permanent Legal-Technical Program for the Acquisition by Developing countries of Technology Related to Industrial Property. This program is directed by a permanent Committee which plans and provides guidance in the execution of specific projects designed to implement the objective of promoting and facilitating the acquisition by developing countries of technology related to industrial property under fair and reasonable terms and conditions. Activities in 1975 under the Permanent Program included the examination by a Group of Editorial Consultants of the feasibility of an international publication on licensing opportunities. A training course for developing countries on the use of the International Patent classification was conducted in May 1975 and was attended by officials of 14 developing countries and the African and Malagasy regional industrial property office.

Revision of the Paris Convention

At the urging of the developing countries and pursuant to a decision by the competent bodies of WIPO in 1974, an ad hoc Group of Governmental Experts on the Revision of the Paris Convention met twice in 1975. The task of the Group of Experts was to study all aspects of the question of revising the Paris Convention, especially additional provisions for special benefits to developing countries. At the first experts'

meeting in February a list of 14 questions on items of possible revision was formulated. These 14 questions were submitted to the WIPO Director General for study and analysis of the issues and possible alternative solutions. The Group of Experts met again in December to consider the WIPO analysis. At this meeting the experts adopted a Declaration on the Objectives of the Revision of the Paris Convention. The United States voted ad referendum for the Declaration after obtaining substantial changes. Further deliberations on the revision of the Paris Convention will be undertaken by the experts in 1976. UNCTAD is also participating in this project as an observer organization. The general U.S. position on revision is that careful consideration should be given to all the factors involved, especially to determine whether certain of the objectives of revision could be accomplished under national legislation.

WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION

With the admission of Botswana, Tonga, the Demo cratic Republic of Viet-Nam, Mozambique, and Comoros, the membership of WHO increased to 146 full and 3 associate members. The vote at the World Health Assembly admitting the Democratic Republic of Viet-Nam was 116 to 0, with 8 abstentions (U.S.).

WHO is organized into six regional offices. Countries within each of these regions meet regularly to review and discuss the program and budget proposals for their areas, in addition to other matters of mutual interest. The United States, because of its geographical location, participates in two of the regions-Western Pacific and the Americas. However, the United States participates in the work of WHO throughout the world. Through consultations at WHO headquarters in Geneva and in regional offices activities are discussed, programs reviewed, and new strategies developed. U.S. contributions to and influence on WHO activities are continuous, with the World Health Assembly serving as the principal forum for reaching decisions.

World Health Assembly

The 28th World Health Assembly met in Geneva May 13 30, 1975. Delegations from 135 member states and 2 associate members participated. Most delegates were, as usual, technical people, a majority of them physicians. The discussions of health issues were for the most part carried out at a high professional level. Delegations from developing countries adopted a more active role than in the past, showing a determination to participate fully in the decision-making process.

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