Ibrahim Kandil, the chairman of the United Nations World Intellectual Property Organization, said counterfeit goods were a “cause of illness and loss of wealth that inflicts many hundreds of millions of people around the world, including people in developing countries, the elderly, young children, and women.” Infant mortality was also linked to counterfeit goods, he added.
Ibrahim Kandil, the UN’s first chairman of the WIPO Art and Copyrights Committee, spoke to foreign correspondents on Jan. 16 in Geneva as his organization was ending an international meeting called Fake Goods.
He said the United Nations estimates counterfeiting makes up 3 percent of GDP in developing countries and 3.5 percent in developed countries, and adds more than a million jobs to the world economy each year.
In the United States, 90 percent of the masks used on doctors’ offices are fake, and the same is true of European offices, according to the organizers of the conference. They said the foreign governments and world business interests can fight counterfeit goods by helping police officials and educating people.
Dr. Peter Stamer told foreign correspondents in his Swiss home: “I was working on a case this year with a youth group in a small village in Sint-Truiden, a town in the east, not too far from the border with Algeria. They told me they had never seen the real masks and many of them asked why people weren’t using them, so I gave them some of the fake masks, they realized how inferior they were, and told them to buy the real masks. They said, ‘We will never buy the fake masks,’ so they buy the real masks and we make money.”