Minutes - TRIPS Council - View details of the intervention/statement

Ambassador Boniface Chidyausiku (Zimbabwe)
C.i Paragraph 6 of the Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health
111. The representative of Argentina considered that the Declaration was the most relevant declaration adopted in Doha. In it, the Ministers affirmed that the TRIPS Agreement should be interpreted and applied in a way to support WTO Member's right to protect public health and in particular to promote access to medicines for all. Recalling the text of paragraph 6, she said that the basic premises of the Declaration, in particular those contained in paragraph 4, should be the framework within which Members should deal with the matter in the TRIPS Council. Nonetheless, an effective and long lasting solution to this problem could only be found by ensuring that the measures and procedures to enforce intellectual property rights did not themselves become barriers to legitimate trade and by ensuring that these contributed to the promotion of technological innovation and to the transfer and dissemination of technology to the producers and users of technological knowledge and in a manner conducive to social and economic welfare and to a balance of rights and obligations. Financial and human resources were extremely limited in developing countries and LDCs by comparison with the developed countries. A sustainable solution to the problem outlined in paragraph 6 should be approached from a standpoint that included those factors which were relevant to the issues such as effective transfer of technology, dissemination of inventions and establishment of licensing contracts. Developing countries faced two challenges: for those that did have sufficient manufacturing capacities, the challenge was to maintain and sustain these capacities; and for those that, at present, did not have such capacities, the challenge was to establish a viable and sustainable technological base. The solution should deal with the problem in a comprehensive fashion with these challenges, lest the membership faced even more serious situations to the detriment of developing countries and LDCs. The Council's work had to be two-fold: in the short-term, to find an expeditious solution and in the medium term, to find a sustainable solution. This exercise should not lead to greater restrictions, nor to a weakening of the flexibility provided in some of the provisions of the Agreement.