US scrutiny prods UN agency to tighten flow of aid

AP News
Posted: Jul 05, 2012 4:53 PM
US scrutiny prods UN agency to tighten flow of aid

GENEVA (AP) — The U.N. intellectual property agency has vowed to improve cooperation with U.N. sanctions officials in the face of scrutiny over computer equipment provided to Iran and North Korea.

The U.S. State Department says it is reviewing World Intellectual Property Organization aid to North Korea and Iran. WIPO legal counsel Edward Kwakwa says the agency provided "standard IT equipment" to the patent and trademark offices in those nations.

He says none of it included technology or training prohibited under U.N. Security Council sanctions.

But he said in a statement Thursday that because of U.S. concerns WIPO will "systematically refer relevant cases of technical assistance" to sanctions officials.

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U.S. State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell told reporters in Washington the U.S. is working with the agency to ensure future projects are "properly reviewed."