Meeting with WIPO Director General Francis Gurry

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Belarus is interested in the further development of cooperation with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he met with WIPO Director General Francis Gurry on 4 June.

“I can call you an old friend because we stood at the origins of the World Intellectual Property Organization when it was established. We joined it right away [the WIPO Convention was signed by Belarus on 16 November 1967]. We have a big history of cooperation,” the president said. “We met with your predecessors. I am keeping an eye on the operation of the World Intellectual Property Organization and our national organization.”

Aleksandr Lukashenko remarked that during Francis Gurry’s visit the Belarusian government and WIPO will sign a memorandum of cooperation. It will specify major priorities of joint activities. “But I must tell you: in spite of the memorandum, the framework that will be determined by it, you can always count on Belarus,” the head of state said.

In his words, Belarus has been a member of WIPO for a long time. Belarus is a young state which is focused on the protection of intellectual property rights. “We need to learn a lot. And you help us a lot, especially with personnel training and support of our specialists. I am grateful to you for this,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

“Having read a lot of information about the organization, about you, I was quite surprised to find out that you are one of international officials who are so honestly and sincerely engaged in the efforts to raise the efficiency of the organization. In this regard, your efforts deserve much gratitude, appreciation and respect. And we will definitely step up efforts to improve our legal framework in the protection of intellectual property rights. We will also try to make a worthy contribution to the development of international projects and agreements, if necessary,” the president concluded.

Francis Gurry, in turn, praised the beauty of the Belarusian capital city with its clean environment. “Minsk is a very beautiful and interesting city,” he said.

The WIPO director general also thanked Belarus for assistance. “Our organization is facing certain difficulties at the moment. Therefore, we appreciate assistance and cooperation very much,” Francis Gurry stressed.