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

Ambassador Choi Hyuck (Korea)
208. The representative of Brazil, while agreeing that the issue of enforcement of IPRs and combating piracy was an important issue, said that he had several reservations of a legal, procedural and conceptual nature with respect to the EC document and its proposals for work in the TRIPS Council. He agreed with the delegation of Argentina that the EC proposals went beyond the competence of the TRIPS Council. His delegation was aware that Article 68 mandated the Council to monitor the operation of the Agreement and afforded Members the opportunity to consult on matters related to trade-related aspects of intellectual property. However, it was his delegation's understanding that this monitoring role was already being performed through the procedures set forth in Article 63.1 and 63.2 of the Agreement, which were currently dealt with under items A and B of the Council's agenda and there was therefore no need for further activities of the Council relating to the implementation of TRIPS enforcement provisions. 209. His delegation was particularly concerned that the Council's activities proposed by the European Communities, namely a detailed examination of Members' perceived shortcomings in implementing TRIPS enforcement provisions, the laying down of benchmarks for Members to comply with, as well as the elaboration of best practices, would entail the establishment of a new prescriptive and de facto norm-setting role for the Council. This would narrow the flexibilities which Members currently enjoyed under Article 1.1 of the Agreement to determine themselves how best to implement their obligations at the national level and could, therefore, not be justified by Article 68 of the Agreement. It was his delegation's view that Article 68 should not be invoked to establish new "TRIPS-plus" obligations for Members in this or any other area. 210. While acknowledging the efforts made and the legitimacy of the concerns expressed by the European Communities, his delegation suggested that the Council decline to discuss this issue and that the proposed new agenda item would not be included in the agendas of future Council meetings, because the Council's agenda was already occupied with the current Doha Round and should not be burdened with this potentially divisive issue. His delegation encouraged the European Communities to address its concerns to the WIPO Advisory Committee on Enforcement which, as the EC document pointed out, had a mandate for the exchange of information, awareness raising and coordination of technical assistance programmes and should therefore be well equipped to address the issue.