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

Ambassador Eduardo Pérez Motta (Mexico)
World Trade Organization
N.ii Joint Initiative
307. The representative of the Secretariat said that the Joint Initiative with WIPO had two phases: first, the organization of two major regional events, and, second, country-specific activities. The first of the major regional workshops, which was for the least-developed countries in Africa and Haiti, had been held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania in April 2002. The second one, which was for the least-developed countries in the Asia and Pacific region, would be held in Bangladesh from 11 to 14 December 2002. As regards the second phase of country-specific activities, the Secretariat had been discussing with WIPO how to respond to the quite large number of requests that had been received under the Joint Initiative. The Secretariat intended to start off the process of these country-specific activities before the end of 2002. It hoped to have a fairly large number of these activities during the course of 2003, and was discussing this matter with the Technical Cooperation Division of the WTO, which was responsible for technical cooperation funds. It had to be ensured that the necessary country-specific activities for least-developed countries under the Joint Initiative would find their place in the Secretariat technical cooperation plan for 2003, which was presently under preparation. He said that another constraint which should be taken into account was staff resources to cope with the rising level of activity in the TRIPS Council. This was becoming a very significant constraint affecting the Secretariat's technical cooperation activities in this area. The number of pages of the Council's minutes in the different years was a fair indicator of the overall intensity of activities in the TRIPS area. In the first four years of the TRIPS Council's operation between 1995 and 1998, there had been between 55 and 75 pages of minutes per annum, which then had increased to 130 in 1999 and to 294 in 2001. In 2002, the number of pages already amounted to 237 by the end of the Council's meeting in June. However, Secretariat staff professional resources had gone from four to five during that period. Although some additional posts for technical cooperation had been made available using the Programme Support Fund, the TRIPS area had not qualified for one of those. Finally, since the Secretariat was in the process of preparing its technical cooperation plan for 2003 and tried to cooperate as much as possible with the other intergovernmental organizations in this area, he said that it would be helpful if the intergovernmental organizations could provide in the coming days details of the events in which they would like to participate in 2003 so that they could be included in the technical cooperation plan.