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

Ambassador Choi Hyuck (Korea)
150. Highlighting his delegation's commitment to finalizing the work on the amendment to the TRIPS Agreement to give permanent effect to the solution reached in August 2003, the representative of Australia asked Members to bear in mind that agreement on this issue had been reached after hard work and a number of Members had already implemented that solution or were about to do so. The waiver was in place and would remain there until the amendment was complete. For his delegation, the key was to preserve this solution. Neither the substance of the Decision nor the relationship between that Decision and the Chairman's Statement should be altered. 151. In his view, this was no longer a political issue, but a technical matter. It was incumbent upon the TRIPS Council to solve it. The Council had both the technical know-how and the willingness to make such a resolution possible. He said that the process had got off to a good start, as certain relevant technical questions to be addressed by the Council had been sorted out. He had no doubt that more questions could be added to this list as the discussions progressed. 152. As regards the elements of the Decision that would become redundant by the change in the legal form, he considered that the question should also be asked as to what was gained or lost by removing any particular element of the Decision. In his view, as very little, if anything, would be gained, every effort should be made to preserve the Decision in its entirety. This would imply that it was left to individual Members, in using or implementing the Decision, to determine for themselves which provisions remained relevant and which provisions were redundant. Members who had already implemented the Decision had done this with some success. 153. He believed that it was generally accepted that the Decision would not have been reached without the Chairman's Statement. The key for his delegation was to preserve that agreement and not to add to it or subtract from it in any way. 154. Concerning the question of whether the Chairman's Statement could be read out again at the time of the amendment, he noted the differing views and indicated that his delegation was still thinking about this, the key issue being whether or not this would sufficiently meet the need to faithfully preserve the 2003 agreement. Several questions would arise in this context, for example, whether only the Chairman's Statement would be read or other statements be made, whether the Statement would have exactly the same legal standing as the Statement made in 2003, and what the status would be of reactions to the Statement that were different to reactions made to the Statement in 2003. 155. As regards the form of the amendment, he confirmed that it should be that which best served the solution to be adopted. His delegation was flexible on this, but added that it was keen for the issue to move forward, and would like to be associated in any consultations.