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

Ambassador Chak Mun See (Singapore)
117. The representative of Australia, responding to Hungary, said that she would not have chosen the term "sequencing" which Hungary had used. In practical terms, it was premature to consider rewriting the language of the TRIPS Agreement before Members had a good collective understanding of what the current provisions provided; how Members had implemented them; and the merits of either extending or not extending the additional protection of Article 23 to other products. This was a precondition to even considering rewriting treaty language and Article 24.2 provided the vehicle for the Council gaining such an understanding. In legal terms, whilst the language of Article 24.2 might not prevent looking at other issues associated with geographical indications at the same time, it was, besides Article 23.4, the only mandate that the Council currently had. This was the other reason why Australia emphasized the need to engage constructively in the review under Article 24.2. Reacting to While agreeing with Hungary's point that the Article 24.2 review was not a once-off exercise, she wished to draw attention to the fact that the Council was still conducting its first such review after some years and to express her delegation's confidence in a fruitful outcome of this and further reviews under Article 24.2.