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

Ambassador Karen Tan (Singapore)
Egypt on behalf of African Group
70. The representative of Egypt, speaking on behalf of the African Group, said that he believed that engaging in technical cooperation and capacity-building activities was a core function and mandate in the TRIPS system. Through effective technical cooperation and capacity-building activities, developing and least-developed countries could reap specific benefits and make full use of the TRIPS Agreement and its flexibilities. The African Group believed that technical assistance and capacity-building activities should be premised on the following principles: (i) be development-oriented, demand-driven and transparent, taking into account the priorities and the special needs of developing countries, especially LDCs, as well as the different levels of development of Members; (ii) promote a development-oriented intellectual property culture; (iii) place particular emphasis on the needs of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and institutions dealing with scientific research and cultural industries; (iv) promote measures that will help countries deal with intellectual property-related anti-competitive practices, by providing technical cooperation to developing countries, especially LDCs, at their request, in order to better understand the interface between IPRs and competition policy; (v) further develop infrastructure and other facilities with a view to making national intellectual property institutions more efficient and promote fair balance between intellectual property protection and the public interest; (vi) strengthen national capacity for protection of domestic creations, innovations and inventions and support development of national scientific and technological infrastructure; and (vii) mainstream development considerations. This list was, by no means, exhaustive but contained what the African Group deemed to be the essence of the ongoing efforts to bring balance in the intellectual property debate and should, at a minimum, ensure widespread endorsement. He called Members' attention to these essential principles and to the necessity of providing qualitative assessments of their technical assistance and capacity-building efforts accordingly.