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

Ambassador Boniface Chidyausiku (Zimbabwe)
World Trade Organization
306. The representative of the WTO Secretariat, responding to the European Communities, said that the issue of IP and public health figured significantly in the Secretariat's technical cooperation and contacts with delegations. It was envisaged that the regional workshop under the Joint Initiative, and the conference for Arab countries, would include sessions relating to this topic. If the WTO held events focussed specifically on TRIPS and public health, it would want to call on the help of the WHO. The regional workshop was not specifically on this subject but it included a session on health among many others. If the WHO was interested in participating and available, the WTO would discuss it with WIPO and see if it could be accommodated. Referring to the latest version of the Coordinated WTO Secretariat Annual Technical Assistance Plan 2002 (document WT/COMTD/W/95/Rev.2) considered by the Committee on Trade and Development, he said that the plan responded as far as possible to the requests received, including under the Joint Initiative. While it did not at present include national events for African developing countries, the plan was evolving so that Members interested in holding other workshops should submit requests. The Secretariat would do its best to respond to such requests. He said that the major resource constraint appeared to be one of human, not financial, resources. Responding to Morocco, he said that the conference in Doha for Arab countries was not undertaken under the Joint Initiative and not limited to LDCs. Regarding the criteria used for selecting resource persons in workshops, seminars and other activities, he said that the WTO used its own personnel as well as recognized outside experts, particularly those from or with experience in the relevant region.