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Experienced Australian Official To Head UN WIPO

Experienced Australian official to head UN intellectual property agency

13 May 2008 - The United Nations agency tasked with protecting ownership of intellectual property announced today that an Australian national with extensive experience in the field has been nominated to become its next Director General.

Francis Gurry will now have to be appointed by the General Assembly of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) at its next meeting, scheduled to begin on 22 September in Geneva, before he can formally take up the post on 1 October.

WIPO's Coordination Committee nominated Mr. Gurry this week after delegates voted from a list that originally included 15 candidates. In the final round of voting, Mr. Gurry received 42 votes, one ahead of José Graça Aranha, a national of Brazil.

Mr. Gurry will become only the fourth Director General in the history of WIPO, which was established in 1967, and he will succeed Kamil Idris of Sudan, who has served in the top post since 1997.

Since joining WIPO in 1985 as a consultant, Mr. Gurry has assumed various posts, and most recently he has been the Deputy Director General of the agency.

ENDS

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