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-Symposium on Intellectual Property and the American Creators (Santiago) in the framework of the Summit of Heads of the Americas; -Seminar on the Protection of Intellectual Property in Latin America (Spain); -Meeting on the Possible Establishment of a Database Network of French-speaking Countries of Africa in the Field of Physics Teaching Materials (Cotonou);   -General Assembly of the Iberoamerican Committee of the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC) (Montevideo); -“Africa Telecom 98” Conference (Johannesburgh); -Council of Ministers of ARIPO (Mombasa, Kenya) Attended by the Director General.

The Director General also participated in the Opening Ceremony of the XXXVIth World Congress of the International Association for the Protection of Industrial Property (AIPPI), held in Rio de Janeiro and Brasilia in May.

WIPO also contributed to the cost of the Symposium on Copyright and Neighboring Rights for the Ministers of Culture of the South African Development Community (SADC), held in Harare, in May, which was attended by 11 SADC Ministers and over 40 participants from 12 SADC Member States, and promoted closer WIPO-SADC relations.

Two advisory missions were organized to the Office of ARIPO, in Harare, in May (resulting in the approval of a new WIPO technical assistance project for, inter alia, the development of a database of ARIPO registered patents, trademarks and industrial designs and of on-line linkages with the offices of its Member States), and one mission visited the office of OAPI in Yaoundé, in March (resulting in the approval of a new organigram reflecting the policy priorities of the new leadership of OAPI). Also, a high-level African expert visited WIPO for consultations on enhancing the involvement of African high-level officials in intellectual property matters.

During the reporting period, two officials from Egypt visited the industrial property administrations of Jordan and Syria, one official from Jordan visited the industrial property administration of Egypt, one official from Syria visited the industrial property administration of Jordan, and three officials from Sierra Leone, Swaziland, and South Africa visited the offices of ARIPO, in Harare, and OAPI, in Yaoundé.  These visits promoted the exchange of experience among developing countries on specific technical and organizational issues.

Discussions were held for the finalization of a comprehensive training program on intellectual property law, in cooperation with the Gulf Institute of International Law (GIIL), in Dubai, for officials from Arab countries. The first activity under the program will start in June 1998 (see also under Main Program 08).  

In Asia and the Pacific, WIPO cooperated with the Mekong Region Law Center on a training program on intellectual property for the Mekong region countries (see under Main Program O8.).

On the interregional level, cooperation among developing countries was also promoted and identified during the reporting period with the League of Arab States (LAS) and the Organization of African Unity (OAU) for promoting Afro-Arab cooperation for the utilization of the intellectual property system for the advancement of the Afro-Arab region.  Also, a possible agreement for intellectual property cooperation for Islamic countries of Africa and the Arab and Asian region between WIPO and the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) was discussed.

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