101. The Chairman said that there were 17 pending requests for observer status in the TRIPS Council, from the CBD Secretariat and 16 other intergovernmental organizations. A list of these requests was contained in document IP/C/W/52/Rev.11. At its last meeting, the Council had requested that he continue to hold consultations with a view to resolving the matter.
102. He informed the Council that he had consulted with those delegations who in the past had had some difficulty in granting observer status for the CBD Secretariat. One of these delegations, which previously had had concerns about a selective approach on what it saw as an issue of a systemic nature to be addressed at the level of the General Council, had suggested that it might be possible to make progress if, rather than considering permanent observer status, the model used in the Special Session of the Committee on Trade and Environment and the Negotiating Group on Trade Facilitation were to be considered – in the former case to invite certain international organizations to participate as ad hoc invitees, and in the latter to invite relevant international organizations to attend on an ad hoc basis, as had been provided for in the Group's Work Plan. In both of these bodies, the invitations were issued on a meeting by meeting basis. However, another delegation had informed him that it did not see that that approach would offer a solution. In its view, the situation in the TRIPS Council was not similar to that in the negotiating groups and there was not a case to give special treatment to the CBD Secretariat, especially given the overall systemic issue facing the General Council regarding observer status. Therefore, while he had detected some potentially helpful developments, he was not in a position to report that there was a breakthrough towards consensus on this matter.
103. Furthermore, he informed the Council that, as agreed at its last meeting, he had sent a letter to the Executive Secretary of the CBD Secretariat to inform him of the status of its pending request.