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Gurry Wins WIPO Re-election

Issued: March 31 2014

The World Intellectual Property Organization’s Coordination Committee has nominated by consensus Francis Gurry for a second term as director general of the organization. Gurry’s first term expires on September 30; he is WIPO’s fourth director general.


To applause from delegates, Committee chair Fode Seck declared Gurry the consensus nominee. Gurry offered his “heartfelt and profound thanks” to member states from all regional groups for the support given to him.


“I think that the world of intellectual property is a challenging one, but one with great opportunities,” Mr. Gurry told delegates. He said a main goal is to maximize opportunities for all member states.


“Let me say that I am deeply honored by your support and I am profoundly grateful to you and look forward to working with you all,” Gurry said.


The coordination committee, which comprises 83 member states, held one round of voting from a list which originally included four candidates.


Mr. Gurry prevailed in that round of voting with 46 votes, with 20 votes for Geoffrey Onyeama of Nigeria, 10 votes for Alfredo Suescum Alfaro of Panama and seven votes for Jüri Seilenthal of Estonia. According to the rules, the candidate with the least number of votes after the first round is eliminated.


Before the second round of voting began, the candidacies of Suescum and Onyeama were withdrawn, and Gurry was selected as the consensus nominee.