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Friday, December 13 • 13:45 - 15:00
User Rights Track: Reclaiming the World Trade Organisation: A Modest Proposal for a WTO Agreement on the Supply of Global Public Goods

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Reclaiming the World Trade Organisation: A Modest Proposal for a WTO Agreement on the Supply of Knowledge as a Public Good

Key question and themes to be addressed:

The global community is confronted with an undersupply of global public goods, including but not limited to those involving knowledge goods. The current international trade architecture lacks the capacity to address free riding or the general undersupply of global public goods. The proposal for a WTO Agreement on the Supply of Knowledge as a Public Good frames the WTO as the institution to host an international instrument to address the chronic undersupply of global public goods thus providing a timely solution to a pressing global challenge.

There are increasing calls for a larger supply of public goods and a variety of proposals that involve government commitments to increase the supply of global public goods in specific areas, including but not limited to major projects such as the Kyoto Protocol to the International Framework Convention on Climate Change, the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources and the proposed WHO Biomedical R&D Treaty. The aforementioned agreements, in addition to other and existing and proposed agreements are important, but are not a sufficient response to the under-supply of global public goods.

This session will evaluate a proposal for a trade framework and a multilateral agreement that would involve negotiations and binding commitments to support the creation of and access to certain public goods. In particular, the provision of global public goods involving knowledge would be enhanced by the creation of an agreement within the WTO that would feature binding commitments by governments to undertake actions to increase the supply of a heterogeneous class of public goods, operating in a fashion analogous to binding commitments to reduce tariffs and subsidies or to liberalise trade in services.

Presentation slides available below.

avatar for Katy Athersuch

Katy Athersuch

Katy Athersuch is the Innovation and Access Adviser for Médecins Sans Frontières’s (MSF) Access Campaign based in Geneva, Switzerland. Katy studied International Relations and Development Studies at the University of Sussex in the UK. Before joining MSF in 2009, she was the Coordinator... Read More →

avatar for Sunil Abraham

Sunil Abraham

Sunil Abraham is the Executive Director of the Centre for Internet and Society (CIS), Bangalore. CIS is a 4-year-old policy and academic research organisation that focuses on accessibility by the disabled, intellectual property rights policy reform, openness [Free/Open Source Software... Read More →
avatar for Jamie Love

Jamie Love

Director, Knowledge Ecology International
avatar for Pedro Paranaguá

Pedro Paranaguá

Advisor to the ruling party, Brazilian House of Representatives
Pedro Paranaguá is Advisor to the ruling Workers Party at the Brazilian House of Representatives, for Internet, copyright, patent, data privacy, cybercrime and related matters. He is responsible for drafting the Brazilian Internet Framework Bill ("Marco Civil") for the rapporteur... Read More →
avatar for Susan Sell

Susan Sell

Susan K. Sell is Professor of Political Science and International Affairs and Associate Department Chair at the George Washington University in Washington DC. She earned her PhD in political science at the University of California at Berkeley. She is the author of several... Read More →
avatar for Susan Isiko Strba

Susan Isiko Strba

Senior Research Affiliate, University of Minnesota, Intellectual Property and Development Program

Friday December 13, 2013 13:45 - 15:00 SAST
Exhibition Hall