Ursula Owusu campaigns for Ghana’s candidate for WIPO D-G post

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The Minister of Communication, Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, has urged France to support Ghana’s bid to the position of Director-General at the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).

In a meeting with the French delegation in Paris, Mrs Owusu-Ekuful emphasised the expertise and competencies of the Ghanaian candidate, Dr Edward Kwakwa and, therefore, capitalised on the long-standing relationship between the two countries to urge the team to support Ghana’s bid for the position of Director-General of WIPO.

She also eulogised the late Kofi Annan on the impact he brought to the United Nations and the world at large and expressed the hope that France would support Dr Kwakwa to bring the same to WIPO and its constituents as well.

For his part, Dr Kwakwa, at a meeting with the Deputy Director, United Nations, International Organisations Human Rights and Francophony, Mr Jean-Marc SÉRÉ-CHARLET, expressed his commitment to strengthening dialogue among member states with the aim of expanding the mandate of WIPO to promote and protect global intellectual property when given the nod.

The second leg of the Minister’s Special Envoy tour was made up of Ghana’s Ambassador to France, Anna Bossman; Dr Kwakwa and staff of the Foreign Affairs Ministry.

Ghana is contesting the position with the Republic of Singapore, Republic of Kazakhstan, China, Colombia and Peru.

Japan, Argentina, Estonia and Nigeria have since 14 February 2020 withdrawn their candidacy.

BACKGROUND

Upon the announcement of the vacancy of the position of Director-General at the World Intellectual Property Organisation on 30 September 2019, Ghana nominated Dr Edward Kwakwa on 6 November 2019 for consideration on the position.

About Dr Edward Kwakwa

Dr Kwakwa, who joined the organisation in 1996, has served WIPO with great distinction for almost 24 years. He rose to be Senior Director, Department for Traditional Knowledge and Global Challenges.

He served as WIPO’s Legal Counsel from 2004 to 2016, after serving as acting legal counsel, as deputy legal counsel, and as assistant legal counsel and head of legal and constitutional affairs at WIPO.

Dr Kwakwa has extensive knowledge of the multilateral organisation’s system, having worked at WIPO, the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in the last 25 years. Over this period, he has gained progressively responsible managerial experience, including serving on the Senior Management Teams of the current as well as the previous Director-General of WIPO.

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