During the year of the full-scale russian invasion of Ukraine, the aggressor state destroyed 446 objects of cultural heritage and infrastructure and damaged 1,189. Vyacheslav Ovechkin, director of the Department of Investments, Innovations and Intellectual Property of the Ministry of Economy of Ukraine, announced this on behalf of the Ukrainian delegation, speaking at the 46th session of the Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property, Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore (IGC) of WIPO. The Ukrainian delegation, which includes representatives of the IP Office, notes that the IGC mandate is to ensure the balanced and effective protection of genetic resources, traditional knowledge, and traditional cultural expressions throughout the world and must give a proper assessment of the actions of the russian federation in Ukraine.
“russia maintains its maximalist goals of destroying Ukrainian statehood, including by attacking the civilian population and critical infrastructure. Domestic and international investigations show that russian attacks are not simply collateral damage or even the result of random events. They are carrying out a targeted attack on Ukrainian history and culture. The victims of russian military aggression are not only our nation but also our very identity and heritage,” emphasized Vyacheslav Ovechkin.
Among others, representatives of the Ukrainian IP Office actively participate in the IGC meeting. Commenting on the course of the Committee’s meetings, the Head of the IP Office, Olena Orliuk, emphasized:
“The Ukrainian delegation participates in active discussions of issues related to traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions aimed at preventing their illegal appropriation; and issues related to genetic resources in the context of the IPR system, including ensuring that patent offices have access to adequate information about genetic resources and related traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions.”
Also, the Ukrainian delegation called for participation in the search for practical approaches for solutions that await consideration during the current discussions of the IGC.
“It is very important for us to join the discussion about what should be protected and what should not be protected in the context of traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions. How IP can protect and promote the development of genetic resources. But it is unacceptable to do this with a country that has violated international law, kills civilians, destroys cultural heritage and infrastructure,” concluded the Head of the specialized department of the Ministry of Economy.
Representatives of delegations spoke in support of Ukraine’s position: Poland – on behalf of the countries of the Regional Group of the Central Europe and Baltic States, Switzerland – on behalf of the countries of Group B, Sweden – on behalf of the European Union. The IGC was held from 27 February to 3 March 2023 in Geneva, Switzerland.
IP Office is represented by: