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

H.E. Ambassador Xolelwa Mlumbi-Peter
5; 6; 7 REVIEW OF THE PROVISIONS OF ARTICLE 27.3(B); RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE TRIPS AGREEMENT AND THE CONVENTION ON BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY; PROTECTION OF TRADITIONAL KNOWLEDGE AND FOLKLORE
180.   Our intervention will be in respect of agenda items 6 and 7. 181.   I would want to recall previous information provided by Nigeria on these subject matters and we reiterate that the need for the mutual supportiveness of the TRIPS Agreement and the Convention on Biological Diversity cannot be over emphasized. Enhanced corporation of the TRIPS Agreement and other relevant international organizations and international instruments remain a basic principle of the TRIPS Agreement. We are in support of the harmonization of the TRIPS Agreement in other to be consistent with the CBD. 182.   Traditional communities continue to be negatively impacted as a result of the illegal exploitation of their biological resources or associated traditional knowledge. My delegation is of the view that in order to develop a sound and viable technological base in developing countries and LDCs, any utilization of genetic resources from these regions must involve sustainable use in other to conserve biological diversity, and must show evidence of a fair and equitable sharing of benefits, as are the principles of the CBD. In other to achieve this, we advocate for the creation of a database and registration system to be maintained by the users of this genetic resources, traditional knowledge and folklore and which therefore contain valuable information as to the origin, source and contact details of the inventor that is accessible to the world. This will go a long way in upholding transparency and build trust among WTO Members. 183.   As has been proposed in past African Group proposals, Article 29 of the TRIPS Agreement ought to be given more force to include traceability and a prior informed consent from the source, in respect of any product manufactured from the utilization of genetic components or traditional knowledge and folklore. In other words, full disclosure of the origin and source of any genetic resource or associated traditional knowledge should be made in exchange for patent protection. We call upon our trade partners who are users of the GRTKF to foster strategic collaborations with relevant countries towards developing a mechanism where the patent applicants in their respective countries will be mandated to disclose the actual source of any genetic material or TK utilized by them during the manufacturing of their products. This will go a long way in the administration of benefit sharing with the original owners. 184.   The full disclosure requirement will not only be beneficial to Nigeria in terms of access to benefit sharing, but it will also, on the other hand, improve the quality of our substantive patent examination, which will in turn ensure the validity of patent grants in our country. 185.   Finally, we urge Members to consider the collaborating with each other both regionally and internationally, in other to achieve this mutually beneficial goal.
25.   The Council took note of the statements made and agreed to revert to the matters at its next meeting.
22.   The Chair proposed that, following past practice, agenda items 5, 6 and 7 be addressed together. She recalled that there had been important developments in this area in many WTO Members that have not been shared with this Council. So far, only 27 Members had responded to the List of Questions on Article 27.3(b), with Mexico and Ukraine being the most recent submissions. Two longstanding procedural issues under these items had been discussed extensively on the record, at every regular meeting of the Council for almost ten years now:
a. The suggestion for the Secretariat to update the three factual notes on the Council's discussions on the TRIPS and CBD and related items; these notes had been initially prepared in 2002 and last updated in 2006; and
b. the request to invite the CBD Secretariat to brief the Council on the Nagoya Protocol to the CBD, initially proposed in October 2010.
23.   Delegations' positions on these issues were well known and already extensively recorded in the Council's minutes. Considering that the agenda was particularly full for the present one-day meeting, she strongly suggested that delegations focus their interventions on suggestions on how to resolve the differences and make progress on the substantive issues. Existing positions were very well known and were very clearly on the record, so there was no need to reiterate them.
24.   The representatives of Brazil; Tanzania, on behalf of the African Group; Bangladesh; South Africa; Zimbabwe; China; India; Nigeria; Kenya; Switzerland; Indonesia; Canada; the United States of America; the European Union; and Japan took the floor
25.   The Council took note of the statements made and agreed to revert to the matters at its next meeting.
IP/C/M/95, IP/C/M/95/Add.1