An extraordinary session of the WIPO’s Coordination Committee was held on March 04-05, 2020 in Geneva, Switzerland, with the attendance of delegates from its 83 member states, including Viet Nam. In this session, following rounds of voting, the Coordination Committee nominated a candidate for appointment to the post of the WIPO’s Director General for the term from 2020 to 2026 after the term of Mr. Francis Gurry as Director General ends by September 2020.
The process of electing the Director General this time commenced on September 30, 2019 when the Chair of the Coordination Committee issued the Verbal Note inviting all state members of WIPO to propose their national candidates to the position of WIPO’s Director General. The proposals for candidates for nomination to the top WIPO job that were received by the Coordination Committee by the deadline of December 30th, 2019 are as follows: Argentina, China, Colombia, Estonia, Ghana, Japan, Kazakhstan, Nigeria, Peru and Singapore.
Prior to the date of the Coordination Committee’s session on March 04 and 05, 2020, candidates of Argentina, Estonia, Japan, Nigeria withdrew their candidacy, then six candidates remain in the list. According to the WIPO’s rules of election, the Coordination Committee’s member states conduct secret ballot, and after rounds of voting, the candidate with the least votes will be eliminated. Ahead of the first round of voting, Kazakhstan’s candidate withdrew her candidacy, which made the list be shortened with five candidates. Following the first round, the candidate from Peru was eliminated. Ahead of the second round of voting, candidates from Colombia and Ghana withdrew their candidatures, making the election contest merely between two candidates, China and Singapore. In the second round, the candidate from Singapore, Mr. Daren Tang, received 55/83 votes, compared to 22/83 votes for the candidate from China, Ms. Wang Binying.
Accordingly, the Coordination Committee nominated Mr. Daren Tang for appointment to the post of Director General by the WIPO’s General Assemblies. In the context of COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, the session of the WIPO’s General Assemblies will be held temporarily in the form of a written procedure in early May 2020.
WIPO’s Director General Francis Gurry and Daren Tang, the nominated candidate for the post of Director General for 2020-2026 term (courtesy of WIPO)
Mr. Daren Tang has been serving as the Chief Executive of the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) since 2015. He is considered as a young leader, who is cited with breadth of experiences in governing IPOS and in negotiating several free trade agreements. He also served as the Chair of the WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR). He is expected to bridge the North-South cooperation in WIPO as having support for developed countries as well as developing countries.
Upon the appointment by the WIPO’s General Assemblies, Mr. Daren Tang will officially take office subsequently after the conclusion of WIPO General Assemblies 2020, scheduled on September 21 to 29, 2020./.