News from a friend of a friend is that a WCO Forum will be taking place with the Federal Customs Authority of the UAE in Abu Dhabi from 9-11 April 2012. While the agenda is not yet finalised the current plans are:
1st day: Government agencies will discuss IP Law
2nd day: IP laws will be discussed with the private sector
3rd day: Workshops will be conducted by right holders showcasing their products to UAE Customs inspectors and others.
Attendees are likely to include the Customs Administrations of the UAE, the World Customs Organization, interested Governments represented in the Embassies in the UAE, the Private Sector, the UAE Ministry of Economy, the UAE Ministry of Health, Chambers of Commerce from each of the emirates, and others. There is also a report that the UAE Federal Customs Authority has joined the IPM program of the World Customs Organization.
This part of the Empty Quarter welcomes discussions between the private sector and governments, welcomes the opportunity for rights holders to share information with Customs officials, and welcomes the return of the WCO to the UAE. The UAE has a rich history of working with the WCO on IP issues. A former Director General of the WCO once commented at a planning meeting for an event that he wished for the event to produce less talk and more action. The part of the Empty Quarter wholeheartedly agrees with that sentiment.