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

H.E. Ambassador Xolelwa Mlumbi-Peter
202.   As this is a formal TRIPS Council meeting, I would like to present some of the views we have shared with Members in previous informal encounters. 203.   Brazil believes that the TRIPS Council should seek the completion of the mandate assigned to it by Article 64.3 of the TRIPS Agreement, which refers to this Council's obligation to present recommendations on scope and modalities of the application of subparagraphs 1(b) and 1(c) of Article XXIII of the GATT. 204.   This issue has been on the agenda for more than 20 years now, depriving this Council of precious time and energy to pursue other objectives. The moratorium determined by Article 64.2 TRIPS played a fundamental role during the consolidation process of the Agreement, and fruitful discussions were undertaken during this past 20 years. 205.   We believe it is now time to move towards more concrete directions. Brazil has always the larger picture in mind – the context of WTO reform – and how we could, as Members, make our contribution to this effort. There are elements that could bring us together in these discussions and facilitate an agreeable and reasonable outcome. 206.   We are convinced that a balanced and thoughtful decision on scope and modalities of non-violation and situation complaints (NVSCs) would bring clarity and concrete guidance, further consolidating and reasserting the use of flexibilities provided for in the TRIPS Agreement. Finally, for Brazil, a mature and balanced treatment of NVSCs could even shed a light on negotiations to improve the dispute settlement system. 207.   We have been engaging with Members in this past month and we plan to continue this exercise in the months to follow. We welcome your views and contributions.
31.   The Council so took note of the statements made and agreed to revert to the matters at its next meeting.
26.   The Chair recalled the General Council decision of 10 December 2019, in which Members had decided to extend the Moratorium on TRIPS non-violation and situation complaints until the 12th Ministerial Conference (MC12). In line with the original mandate, that decision had instructed the TRIPS Council to "continue its examination of the scope and modalities" for such complaints "and make recommendations to the 12th Ministerial Conference."
27.   In the discussions that had taken place in December 2019, many delegations had emphasized the need for a more detailed discussion on TRIPS non-violation, so that Ministers could take a wellinformed decision on scope and modalities at MC12. Most delegations had also said that they were open to engage constructively and discuss concrete proposals for scope and modalities.
28.   Against the background of the postponement of MC12, she was hopeful that Members were willing to use the additional time available to return to a substantive discussion of the issues. She had gone over the state of discussions in her preparations for the present meeting and her impression was that a number of shared understandings regarding TRIPS non-violation could in fact be harvested from the past discussions. This might enable the Council to focus its engagement on formulating the areas of disagreement; and, thus make at least some progress in framing the questions for ministers at MC12.
29.   Some delegations had indicated their willingness to make submissions in this regard to provide a basis for constructive discussions. She encouraged those delegations to do that soon, in order to make best use of the time available. The existing positions were very well known and very clearly on the record, so there was no need to reiterate them. She invited Members to share their views on how to approach TRIPS non-violation discussions between the present meeting and MC12.
30.   The representatives of Brazil; Tanzania, on behalf of the African Group; Bangladesh; Nigeria; India; Thailand; China; Argentina; Chile; Zimbabwe; Switzerland; Canada; the United States of America; Indonesia; the European Union; and, Jamaica, on behalf of the ACP Group took the floor. The representatives of Kenya and South Africa requested that their respective statements be included in the record of the meeting.
31.   The Council so 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