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

Ambassador Karen Tan (Singapore)
57. The Chairperson recalled that paragraph 45 of the Hong Kong Ministerial Declaration directed the TRIPS Council to continue its examination of the scope and modalities for complaints of the types provided for under subparagraphs 1(b) and 1(c) of Article XXIII of GATT 1994 and to make recommendations to the next session of the Ministerial Conference. It was agreed that, in the meantime, Members would not initiate such complaints under the TRIPS Agreement. She said that, as requested by the Council at its meeting in March 2009, she had held consultations on the matter. In these consultations, a number of delegations had expressed their views on the action that the Council should take with a view to making a recommendation on the matter prior to the Seventh Session of the Ministerial Conference that was to be held in Geneva from 30 November to 2 December 2009. One delegation had said that the General Council had yet to decide whether this item would be included in the agenda of the next Ministerial Conference, which was to be a regular session of the Conference. Another Member took the view that a recommendation would be required only if the Council made any recommendations that contained some specific suggestions on the scope and modalities for such complaints, and that no recommendation was required if the Council wished that the moratorium should expire. 58. Continuing, she said that, in case the Council were to make any recommendations, a number of delegations were of the view that the Council should follow the proposal in document IP/C/W/385, originally introduced by Peru and co-sponsored by a number of developing countries, and recommend to the Seventh Ministerial Conference that violations of the type identified in Article XXIII.1(b) and (c) of GATT 1994 be determined inapplicable to the TRIPS Agreement. Some other delegations were in favour of letting, at the end of the present extension of the moratorium, non-violation and situation complaints become available under the TRIPS Agreement, without subjecting them to any specific guidance as to their scope and modalities over and above those already envisaged by the DSU, that is the general safeguards provided in Article 26 of the DSU. Reference was also made to the possibility of a further extension of the moratorium to allow the Council more time to consider the scope and modalities of non-violation and situation complaints in the area of TRIPS. 59. In the light of this situation, she suggested that she continue her consultations on the matter.