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Public Statements

WIPO Director General Refuses Permission for Two Officials to Testify Before Congress

Statement

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) and U.S. Rep. Howard L. Berman (D-CA), Chairman and Ranking Member, respectively, of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, released the following statement regarding the refusal of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Director-General, Francis Gurry, to allow two senior WIPO staff members to testify before a Committee briefing on Tuesday, July 24, pursuant to the Committee's investigation into allegations that WIPO transferred U.S.-origin technology to North Korea and Iran. Consequently, the Committee was forced to cancel the planned briefing. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen and Berman:

"Director-General Gurry is obstructing this Committee's investigation of WIPO's transfer of U.S.-origin technology to rogue regimes under international sanctions--a transfer that occurred on his watch. Because Mr. Gurry denied two senior WIPO staff members permission to brief Congress on what they know, the Committee has been forced to cancel a briefing which could have afforded our Members an opportunity to get answers.

"Last week, Director-General Gurry announced WIPO would commission a mere review of technical assistance programs rather than the full, independent investigation demanded by this Committee. By refusing to commission an independent investigation and by obstructing an investigation by the Congress of the United States, whose citizens provide so much of the funds that keep WIPO operating, Director-General Gurry sends the message that he is not committed to transparency, accountability, and reform.

"We urge Director-General Gurry to change course and immediately allow WIPO personnel invited by the Committee to testify and appear without fear of any form of retaliation for their testimony."


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