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Joint UN Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS)
UNAIDS began formal operations on January 1, 1996. Cosponsors are WHO, the UN Development Program, the UN International Drug Control Program, the UN Children's Fund, the UN Population Fund, the UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, and the World Bank. The Committee of Cosponsoring Organizations was led by WHO Director General Brundtland during the year.
The 22-member Program Coordinating Board (PCB) met in June in Geneva. United States representatives attended the meeting as observers under the PCB rotational membership plan. The PCB approved a unified budget and workplan for 2000–2001 at the level of $140 million, the same level as the revised 1998–1999 biennial budget. The Board agreed that, while implementing the workplan containing over 13 specific program elements, the secretariat should ensure that sufficient attention is paid to integration of the chief cross-cutting themes—human rights, gender, and the greater involvement of people living with HIV/AIDS-in program efforts. The PCB agreed to reduce the operating reserve fund from $33 million to $25 million, since contributions to UNAIDS were more timely and cash flow problems had been eased. The purpose of the fund was to permit programs to be implemented in a timely way in advance of the receipt of contributions. The United States continued to be the major donor to UNAIDS, providing about 26 percent of the annual budget.
Following presentations by Dr. Peter Piot (Belgium), Executive Director of UNAIDS, the PCB discussed its concern that by the end of 1998 there were 33.4 milion people living with HIV/AIDS, an increase of 10 percent since the end of 1997. AIDS had become the fourth leading cause of death in the world as a whole. The PCB also gave extensive consideration to the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Africa, where AIDS had become the leading cause of death. It agreed that HIV/AIDS had become a true development crisis, reversing many of the developmental gains of the past decade. The Board expressed strong support for the International Partnership Against HIV/AIDS in Africa, being organized by the UN Secretary General, and agreed on the need for an immediate, intensified, and coordinated response. The Board also agreed that focus on Africa should not detract from activities in other affected regions. World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
WIPO, with headquarters in Geneva, is one of the 16 specialized agencies of the UN system of organizations. It is responsible for the promotion of the protection of intellectual property throughout the world through cooperation among states, and for the administration of various multilateral treaties dealing with the legal and administrative aspects of intellec
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Intellectual property comprises two main branches: industrial property and copyright. Almost 90 percent of the countries in the world belong to WIPO. This is a clear reflection of the importance and relevance attached to the work of the Organization.
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Administrative Organization. There are 171 parties to the WIPO Convention. WIPO administers 17 intergovernmental “unions” or treaties, each founded on a multilateral treaty. The two principal treaties are the Paris and Berne Conventions (157 and 142 parties, respectively). These treaties, and a number of others, provide for the establishment of an “International Bureau" or secretariat. The International Bureau operates under the direction of WIPO member states through a General Assembly that meets in ordinary session every second year. The principal administrative organs of the Paris and Berne Unions are the assemblies of each union, from which all the member states elect executive committees. The combination of these two committees constitutes WIPO's Coordination Committee. It meets annually and is entrusted with the normal tasks of such a governing body, including the review and implementation of WIPO's biennial program and budget. Member states contribute to six of the WIPO unions, known as the “Program Unions."
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WIPO Governing Bodies. WIPO held its 34th biennial General Assemblies of Member States in Geneva on September 20–29. One of the most important issues under consideration was WIPO’s proposed budget for the 2000-2001 biennium. WIPO Director General, Dr. Kamil Idris, proposed an 8.1 percent increase in the budget, from approximately $253 million to approximately $273 million. In disassociating itself from the consensus, the U.S. Delegation asserted that there had already been a large increase in the budget over the previous two years and that the U.S. Government policy was to restrict the budgets of all UN agencies to zero inal growth. WIPO is the only UN agency to register a “profit” from its operations. The budget increase was eventually approved, notwithstanding this lack of consensus. A number of states sought to focus more attention on financial management of WIPO toward a more results-oriented budget and more member state involvement.
WIPO derives about 80 percent of its funds by collecting fees from those filing patent applications under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), an international agreement that streamlines the filing of patent applications in multiple jurisdictions. Member states agreed to reduce by 13 percent the fees paid by individual PCT applicants for the 2000-2001 biennium. However, WIPO continues to generate more revenues than expenditures, indicating that PCT fees could drop further. The United States is leading a reform effort aimed at aligning WIPO's expenditures to PCT revenues and a cost-based fee structure. This is important for U.S.
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consumers since almost 40 percent of PCT applications come from the United States.
At the 1999 meeting of the governing bodies, members also agreed to the establishment of several informal working groups to study whether there should be an amendment to the WIPO Constitution regarding the structure of the decision-making bodies, which meet biennially to approve the program and budget, to study whether the WIPO Constitution should be amended to restrict the Director General to two terms, and to consider the request by a number of Lusophone countries to include Portuguese as a working language of WIPO.
Members approved non-binding guidelines intended to help protect "well-known” trademarks. These guidelines will help national authorities identify well-known marks, the scope of protection that should be afforded to such marks, whether another mark is in conflict with a wellknown mark, and the procedures for invalidating a conflicting mark's registration.
WIPO-WTO Cooperation. On January 1, 1996, an agreement between WIPO and the World Trade Organization entered into force. It provides for cooperation concerning implementation of the Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement, namely, notification of laws and regulations, communication of emblems of states and international intergovernmental organizations under Article 6 of the Paris Convention, as well as legal-technical assistance and technical cooperation in favor of developing countries relating to the implementation of the TRIPS Agreement.
World Meteorological Organization (WMO)
The purposes of the WMO are to facilitate international cooperation in the establishment of networks of stations for making meteorological, hydrological, and other observations, and to promote the rapid exchange of meteorological information, the standardization of meteorological observations, and the uniform publication of observations and statistics. It furthers the application of meteorology to aviation, shipping, water problems, and agriculture. It promotes operational hydrology and encourages research and training in meteorology. WMO membership now includes 179 states and 6 member territories—all of which maintain their own meteorological and hydrological services.
WMO's major scientific and technical programs include the World Weather Watch, which offers up to the minute world-wide weather information through member-operated observation systems and telecommunication links with four polar-orbiting and five geostationary satellites, and about 10,000 land observation and 7,000 ship stations, and 300 moored and drifting buoys carrying automatic weather stations.
The World Meteorological Congress, which is the supreme body of WMO, meets every four years. It determines policies, approves the program and budget, and adopts regulations. The Executive Council is composed of 36 members, including the President and three Vice-Presidents. It meets at least every year to prepare studies and recommendations for the Congress, to supervise the implementation of Congress resolutions and regulations, and to advise members of technical matters. Members are grouped in six regional associations (Africa, Asia, South America, North and Central America (of which the United States is a member), SouthWest Pacific, and Europe). Each of these meets every four years to coordinate meteorological and operational hydrological activities within their region and to examine questions referred to them by the Council. WMO has eight technical commissions responsible for the following: aeronautical meteorology, agricultural meteorology, atomospheric sciences, basic systems, climatology, hydrology, instruments and methods of observation, and marine meteorology. Each of them meets every four years. The Secretariat, headed by the Secretary General, serves as the administrative, documentation, and information center of the organization.
WMO Council. At the 13th WMO Congress in May, the U.S. Delegation led a successful effort to oppose a WMO Secretariat initiative for the 2001–2005 quadrennium that called for a zero real growth budget. The Congress approved a zero nominal growth budget. The Congress approved a Consolidated Program and budget of 252.3 million Swiss francs for the 13th financial period, i.e., 2000–2003.
The Congress, noting the expanding need for training in all national meteorological and hydrological services, highlighted the advantage of computer based training, especially via the Internet, and called for a stronger emphasis on the development and application of this method of training. The United States supported this initiative.
The Congress instructed the Executive Council to conduct an assessment of the functioning and effectiveness of the four sub-regional offices established since the 12th Congress in 1995 before new ones are established. The Congress reviewed, but did not reach consensus on, a recommendation that two of its eight technical commissions be merged. The Congress, however, decided to continue to look at possible avenues for restructuring over the next four years. The Congress, in addition, agreed over the next four years to hold a meeting of permanent representatives from countries operating meteorological satellites as well as satellite operators to discuss a converged polar orbiting satellite system and the expected impact on weather, water, and climate services.
The United States and other member states successfully fended off an effort to increase the number of Vice-Presidents for the WMO. The Congress approved a compromise resolution calling for a three-term limit for the position of WMO Secretary General. This resolution will not become operational until the end of 2003.