I am delighted to let you know that SLA has been granted observer status to meetings of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). WIPO, an agency of the United Nations, was established in 1967, "to promote the protection of IP (intellectual property) throughout the world through cooperation among states and in collaboration with other international organizations." Among its most important roles is developing international standards for intellectual property agreements.
WIPO currently has 184 "member states" and performs much of its work through committees. Observer status gives SLA the right to attend committee meetings and bring forward to the member states considerations voiced by SLA and its members. Among the "hot topics" now under consideration are the parameters of intellectual property laws regarding traditional knowledge and cultural expression.
WIPO observer status is an important, prestigious recognition of SLA as a global organization with an important voice in intellectual property and provides an additional forum for advocacy.