Observers, NGOs, IGOs
WIPO welcomes the inclusion of stakeholder organizations and interest groups as observers at the formal meetings of Member States. WIPO also seeks to involve NGOs, IGOs, industry groups and all other stakeholders as widely as possible in consultation processes and debates about current issues.
Some 250 organizations are currently accredited as observers at WIPO meetings. See the regularly updated list of observers.
Admission Criteria and Procedure
The deadline to submit the request for permanent observer status to the Secretariat of WIPO, including submission of all relevant documents, is May 15, 2013, 18h00 (Geneva time).
Any organization wishing to apply for permanent observer status should submit a request to the WIPO Secretariat. The Secretariat then presents the request to the Assemblies of the Member States for approval. To do so, the Secretariat requires the following information from the applicant organization:
For an Intergovernmental Organization (IGO)
(i) Information on the organization’s structure and objectives,
(ii) a copy of its constituent instruments,
(iii) a list of its officers,
(iv) a list of its members,
(v) the composition of the governing body of the organization and
(vi) information on its activities and interests, particularly those related to the protection of intellectual property.
For an International or National Non-Governmental Organization (NGO)
(i) The text of its constituent instrument (articles of incorporation, bylaws, etc.);
(ii) an indication of the date and place where it was established;
(iii) a list of its officers (showing their nationality in the case of an international NGO);
(iv) a complete list of its national groups or members (showing their country of origin in the case of an international NGO);
(v) a description of the composition of the members of its governing body or bodies (including geographical distribution in the case of an international NGO);
(vi) a statement of its objectives;
(vii) an indication of the field or fields of intellectual property (e.g., copyright and related rights) of interest to it.
The following principles are observed in extending invitations to national NGOs, as observers:
(a) The organization shall be essentially concerned with intellectual property matters within the competence of WIPO and shall, in the view of the Director General, be able to offer constructive, substantive contributions to the deliberations of the Assemblies of WIPO;
(b) The aims and purposes of the organization shall be in conformity with the spirit, purposes and principles of WIPO and the United Nations;
(c) The organization shall have an established headquarters. It shall have democratically adopted statutes, adopted in conformity with the legislation of the Member State from which the NGO originates. One copy of the statutes shall be submitted to WIPO;
(d) The organization shall have authority to speak for its members through its authorized representatives and in accordance with the rules governing observer status; and
(e) The admission of national NGOs to observer status shall be the subject of prior consultations between Member States and the Secretariat.
Requests for ad hoc observer status at specific meetings should be submitted to the Secretariat, who will pass the request to the relevant committee for consideration.