Election of the Director General in 2020

Invitation for proposals

The term of office of the Director General of WIPO will expire on September 30, 2020. Consequently, on September 30, 2019, in accordance with the constitutional provisions and procedures governing the nomination and appointment of Directors General of WIPO, Ambassador François Rivasseau, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations Office at Geneva and other international organizations, in his capacity as Chair of the WIPO Coordination Committee, issued Note C. N 3926 PDF, Note C. N 3926 inviting the Government of every State member of WIPO, if it so desires, to propose the name of one of its nationals as candidate for nomination by the WIPO Coordination Committee.

Proposals submitted for candidates for nomination to the post of Director General are notified to all Member States by the Chair of the WIPO Coordination Committee immediately upon receipt. Proposals must reach WIPO before 5 p.m. on Monday, December 30, 2019.

Procedures and timeline for the nomination and appointment of the Director General

On October 9, 2019, during the 59th Series of meetings of the Assemblies of the Member States of WIPO, the WIPO General Assembly, the WIPO Coordination Committee and the Paris and Berne Union Assemblies approved new 2019 Procedures for the Nomination and Appointment of Directors General of WIPO.

In addition, Member States approved the convening of the following extraordinary sessions of the relevant bodies as part of the timeline for the election of the Director General in 2020:

  • Extraordinary Session of the Coordination Committee to nominate candidate for appointment to post of Director General (March 5 and 6, 2020)
  • Extraordinary Sessions of the General Assembly, the Paris Union Assembly, and the Berne Union Assembly to appoint the Director General (May 7 and 8, 2020)

Proposed candidates

The following list provides, in the order in which they were received, the candidates proposed by their respective governments for nomination to the post of Director General of WIPO in 2020, together with the notifications of the respective submissions as issued by the Chair of the WIPO Coordination Committee:

Candidate Proposed by Relevant documents
Ms. Saule Tlevlessova Republic of Kazakhstan Circular PDF, Nomination of Ms. Saule Tlevlessova
Mr. Daren Tang Republic of Singapore Circular PDF, Nomination of Mr. Daren Tang
Mr. Kenichiro Natsume Japan Circular PDF, Nomination of Mr. Daren Tang
Ms. WANG Binying China Circular PDF, Nomination of Ms. WANG Binying
Dr. Edward Kwakwa Ghana Circular PDF, Nomination of Dr. Edward Kwakwa
Mr. Marco Aleman Colombia Circular PDF, Nomination of Mr. Marco Aleman
Dr. Dámaso Pardo Argentina Circular PDF, Nomination of Dr. Dámaso Pardo

Following the deadline for submissions, a formal document will be prepared, for consideration by the WIPO Coordination Committee, which consolidates all candidates proposed.

Constitutional provisions

The Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO Convention) contains the following provisions on the nomination and appointment of the Director General.

Provision regarding the nomination

Article 8(3) WIPO Convention

“The Coordination Committee shall:

“…(v) when the term of office of the Director General is about to expire, or when there is a vacancy in the post of the Director General, nominate a candidate for appointment to such position by the General Assembly; if the General Assembly does not appoint its nominee, the Coordination Committee shall nominate another candidate; this procedure shall be repeated until the latest nominee is appointed by the General Assembly”;

Provisions regarding the appointment

Article 6(2) WIPO Convention

“The General Assembly shall:

“(i) appoint the Director General upon nomination by the Coordination Committee”;

Article 6(3) WIPO Convention

“(g) For the appointment of the Director General…the required majority must be attained not only in the General Assembly but also in the Assembly of the Paris Union and the Assembly of the Berne Union.”