The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)

A Reference Guide

Elgar Practical Guides

Carolyn Deere Birkbeck

Written by a leading WIPO commentator, The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO): A Reference Guide is the first comprehensive reference book to illuminate the nuts and bolts of WIPO governance. This practical guide offers a unique insight into how WIPO is governed, described in clear, readily accessible terms for policymakers, scholars and stakeholders. The Guide reviews the origins of WIPO and sets out its current functions and activities, presenting a framework for analysing WIPO’s complex governance system. The text is accompanied by a number of valuable appendices, including key documents that have to date not been readily available to the public.

Chapter 6: WIPO’s financial arrangements and the Program and Budget process

Carolyn Deere Birkbeck

Subjects: law - academic, intellectual property law


The World Intellectual Property Organization is unique among UN organisations as it is almost entirely self-financing, rather than relying on assessed contributions from Member States. For the 2016/17 biennium, WIPO Member States approved a regular budget of 707 million Swiss Francs (CHF) for the organisation (up from 470 illion CHF in 2002/03).Within the UN system, WIPO is also notable for the fact that its income streams in regularly exceed budgeted amounts; in 2012/13, for instance, the organisation generated a surplus of 34.6 million CHF,thereby starting the 2014/15 biennium with around 200 million CHF in reserves. This chapter begins in section 6.1 with an overview of WIPO’s income, addressing in turn the three income sources for WIPO’s regular budget, namely fees, Member State contributions, and ‘other’. In so doing, it introduces WIPO’s Unitary Contribution System and the organisation’s approach to arrears in Member State contributions. It then describes WIPO’s sources of extra-budgetary income and its arrangements for Funds-in-Trust. In section 6.2, the chapter reviews WIPO’s Financial Regulations and Rules, followed by its arrangements for the custody of funds and the role of the WIPO Controller. Section 6.3 introduces WIPO’s policies on reserves and investments. The process for setting and reviewing WIPO’s Program and Budget is taken up in section 6.4, as well as related Secretariat reporting requirements and how extra-budgetary contributions are addressed in the Program and Budget process.

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