Despite numerous scandals, without any objection and by consensus, the member states of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) appointed Francis Gurry to a second six-year term of office as Director General of the Organization on May 8, 2014.
WIPO is an agency of the United Nations, so I suppose a Gurry reappointment was to be expected. After all, the UN is poised to declare that the Catholic Church’s pro-life teachings are tantamount to torture, the UN has done absolutely nothing substantive to assist in the recovery of 300 girls kidnapped by Islamic fundamentalist terrorists in Nigeria, the UN has historically always had extraordinary abusers of human rights on the Human Rights Council, such as Cuba, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and China, to name but a few, and despite the fact that the UN knows that Russia rigged the annexation vote in Crimea, the organization is unwilling or simply incapable of stopping Vladamir Putin. All the while the UN never seems to miss an opportunity to demonstrate its anti-semitic nature — see here, here, here , here and here, just for starters.
So does it come as a shock to anyone that an intellectually and morally bankrupt organization like the United Nations would appoint Gurry for a second term? It doesn’t surprise me one bit.
No problems here, move along, nothing to see! After all, what is the problem with appointing someone who has been the subject of one scandal after another, which insiders allege have been covered up or simply not investigated. And in a world organization dominated by tyrants, dictators and repressive regimes, it certainly isn’t a problem when WIPO, presumably at the behest of Gurry, threatened a journalist with criminal prosecution for posting a copy of a public record document that itself alleged serious misconduct by the Director General.
What exactly was in the misconduct complaint filed by WIPO Deputy Director James Pooley that had to be quashed so desperately? Frankly, the threat of criminal and civil prosecution was ill-advised. Once a report of misconduct is removed due to the threat, the imagination runs wild. It also makes Gurry look like he has something to hide, because unlike the rest of the world, the United States has a First Amendment and there is no way that publishing a public record document that asserts allegations of misconduct by a government official would ever be determined to be defamatory.
But alas, on the international stage Gurry’s alleged misconduct and multiplying scandals must seem hardly worthy of conversation given what the UN tolerates and promotes. A truly sad commentary.
So by consensus and without any objection, Gurry gets a second term, that will begin October 1, 2014 and runs into 2020.
For those who think the intellectual property community could do better, don’t despair too much. At least the statement from the United States on the re-appointment of Gurry talked tough. It read:
The General Assembly of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) confirmed the re-election of Director General Francis Gurry on May 8. The United States looks forward to working closely with the Director General and WIPO Member States to ensure that WIPO is a strong, well governed and forward-looking institution that is responsive to Member States.
The United States is deeply committed to the principles of transparency and accountability, including whistleblower protections, in all international organizations. We strongly support the call made in the General Assembly meeting today for a full, independent, and external investigation of the entirety of the complaint filed by a WIPO Deputy Director General. We expect this investigation to be implemented promptly and executed expeditiously.
I suppose talking tough is about the only thing one can expect on the international stage, but is the United States really “committed to… whistleblower protections”? I’m not sure how that can be said with a straight face when they raised no objection to Gurry’s reappointment. What good exactly is a whistleblower if the government can threaten the media with criminal prosecution for publishing a public record document actually filed by a whistleblower?
Time will of course tell, as it does with all things. Perhaps I will be mistaken and a real investigation will be undertaken and we will learn the truth. But in the world of international politics, when an organization such as the UN continually finds itself on the wrong side of history, the wrong side of fairness and the wrong side of decency, I am not going to hold my breath.