Today’s talks unfolded almost entirely behind closed doors during so-called ‘informals’, a setting usually employed to unblock a particularly tough impasse, when consensus on the floor of the plenary has proved impossible.
The informals, which take place in a separate chamber on the WIPO campus, are strictly for country delegations only. NGOs are not invited, but we can follow the audio feed from the plenary chamber provided we don’t report publicly what is said.
This approach enables the delegates to be freer and franker when wrangling over semantic minutiae that, ultimately, will form the substance of the text.
It was late afternoon before the committee returned to the plenary chamber to report on their talks. Chairman Daren Tang immediately poured cold water on the idea that a diplomatic conference on the broadcasting treaty was around the corner (see previous blog post). However, he did suggest the 'chair's text' be upgraded to a 'committee text'. This is a baby step closer to collective acceptance of the working document under discussion, which until now had only reflected the previous chair's personal attempt to provide a fair text.
Other than that, I have nothing much to write about what happened today ... so let’s look at tomorrow, when the IPA, with FEP and Bertlesmann, will stage a side-event with a difference.