We take the UDRP now for granted because it was and is a simple, elegant and efficient method of dealing with a very pressing problem, namely the registration and use in bad faith of domain names that are identical to or confusing with a trademark or service mark in which the complainant has rights and where the registrant has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name. But it was not an obvious solution at the time and WIPO deserves much credit.
WIPO under Francis Gurry and Erik Wilbers came up with and implemented a solution that worked - and all without a treaty. This was critical to establishment of ICANN and ICANN's initial credibility. Indeed, ICANN did not yet exist when WIPO started its UDRP consultation process in 1998. The WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center has now processed more than 16,000 decisions to date - a truly remarkable record. They have very tight schedules and deliver speedy, fair, efficient and inexpensive justice. I'm pleased to have been involved in some of these cases as a panelist.