Fridays at the SCCR are always unpredictable, and Friday 5 May was no exception. Yet whereas the usual drill is the final plenary dragging on late into the evening to enable time for a satisfactory closure, today was a little more mysterious.
For starters, there was more backroom huddling than open plenary debate at times when the sessions were theoretically meant to be live. The chamber stood eerily quiet for much of the day.
This was largely driven by the chairman, Daren Tang, who was anxious that his first SCCR should conclude with a substantive recommendation to the budget-setting WIPO General Assemblies, in October.
In his own words, the goal was to produce something more meaningful than the usual safe recommendation that the SCCR should merely keep strumming away at the incumbent agenda.
However, having resumed the final plenary at around 4pm, Tang then quickly adjourned it again to allow the national groupings to hold decisive in camera talks, and draw a confident line under the week’s work.