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

Ambassador Chak Mun See (Singapore)
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
170. The representative of the FAO informed the Council that the Contact Group of the Commission of Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture had held, from 26 to 31 August 2000, a meeting in Teheran, the purpose of which had been to continue the negotiations relating to the revision of the International Undertaking on Plant Genetic Resources. The meeting represented an important step forward because the Group had reached an interpretation on certain essential but controversial aspects. As regards the conditions of access to genetic resources, there would not be an obligation to track individual accessions and the multilateral system would only include the genetic resources for food and agriculture included in the list annexed to the Undertaking, i.e. it would not include chemical, pharmaceutical and/or other non-food/feed industrial uses. Benefit-sharing would be achieved through the sharing of economic benefits arising from commercialization, the exchange of information, access to and transfer of technology and capacity-building. With regard to the sharing of economic benefits arising from commercialization, it was agreed to establish a mechanism through which royalties would be collected on patented products whose subsequent use for research purposes would be restricted. In cases of other forms of protection allowing subsequent use for research, contributions would be on a voluntary basis and depend on each State. However, other issues remained unsolved such as those concerning the list of species covered by the multilateral system; the possibility of applying for intellectual property rights on components of the material covered by the multilateral system; the possibility for requesting access to plant genetic resources for food and agriculture for purposes of conservation only; the conditions for accession by states that were not party to the International Undertaking and for institutions that were not associated to the agreement; and the financing system. She finally informed the Council that an extraordinary session was planned in order to conclude the negotiations before November 2000, i.e. before the 119th session of the FAO Council, and to present to that Council the final version of the compromise text.