Vanuatu signs up to World Intellectual Property Organisation treaty

Vanuatu has now signed the World Intellectual Property Organisation treaty (WIPO) under which member states (most of the world) agree to pay each other’s publication, broadcast and production fees and performance rights. They must offer the same terms and conditions as they receive. Daily Post reports the Vanuatu Registrar of Intellectual Property, Merilyn Leona Temakon, attending the conference on protection of audiovisual performance in Beijing, 20–26 June, and presenting Vanuatu’s acceptance. This signing means Vanuatu can no longer legally sell pirate IT material, nor rent pirate videos and broadcasting stations will have to pay huge (for us) royalties on all music of overseas artists, amongst many other things. The article does not tell us this. It does, however, say that the same protection is afforded ni-Vanuatu performers. Our escape clause is the fact that the WTO Bill had expired by the time it was signed last month.

Port Vila’s new mayor, in his first major speech, promises that he will make a full and audited financial report of the allegedly bankrupt council of the capital. Mayor Reuben Olul says it will cover “all past years until the present.” The highly criticised and long time suspended council will also advertise all its positions from town clerk downwards and make a considerable effort to ensure it delivers the services townspeople want.

The Tourism Department is intending to improve Port Vila’s portside precincts (Star and Main Wharves and the Seafront) and is seeking options for the development of the areas, because of the huge contribution tourism makes to the economy. New Zealand will assist their endeavours. There is certainly room for development near the main wharf. However, most readers of this blog will be extremely opposed to the present (because of its land sales record) – or any other successor government – selling off any more public land. Post and Radio Vanuatu have both carried news of the moves to improve the areas.

The prime minister’s party, People’s Progressive Party, will field 27 candidates in the country’s upcoming October elections. Party secretary general Willie Lop confirmed with Radio Vanuatu News that the Congress chose the candidates at the Mele Congress last week. The present party executive will, however, stay for a further year because of shortness of time before the election.

At the PPP Congress, Daily Post reports, outgoing PM Sato Kilman gave his main priorities. They will be the public service, getting rid of the ‘politics as usual’ attitude of political leaders and growing the economy.