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

Ambassador Karen Tan (Singapore)
177. The Chairperson recalled that the Council had agreed, at its meeting in June, to hold its annual review of technical cooperation at the present meeting. In preparation for this annual review, developed country Members had once more been requested to update information on their technical and financial cooperation activities relevant to the implementation of the TRIPS Agreement. Other Members who had also made available technical cooperation were encouraged to share information on these activities if they so wished. In addition, intergovernmental organizations observers to the Council as well as the WTO Secretariat had been invited to provide information. 178. The Council had received information from the following developed country Members: Japan, the United States, Australia, Switzerland, Norway, Canada and New Zealand (being circulated in document IP/C/W/539 and addenda). Updated information had been received from the following intergovernmental organizations: OECD, WIPO and UNCTAD (being circulated in document IP/C/W/541, addenda and revisions). In addition, the IMF had informed the Secretariat, by means of a communication dated 6 October 2009, that it provided a wide range of technical assistance related to its mandate in core areas such as fiscal policy, monetary policy, the financial sector, and economic statistics but that it, however, had no technical assistance programmes related specifically to intellectual property or to the implementation of the TRIPS Agreement. Updated information on the WTO Secretariat's technical cooperation activities in the TRIPS area could be found in document IP/C/W/535. 179. She also recalled that paragraph 2 of the TRIPS Council's 2005 decision on the "Extension of the Transition Period under Article 66.1 for Least Developed Country Members" provided that "with a view to facilitating targeted technical and financial cooperation programmes, all the least developed country Members will provide to the Council for TRIPS, preferably by 1 January 2008, as much information as possible on their individual priority needs for technical and financial cooperation in order to assist them taking steps necessary to implement the TRIPS Agreement". To that date, the Council had received such information from Sierra Leone and Uganda. 180. She further recalled that, at the Council's meeting in June, Angola and Tanzania on behalf of the LDC Group had requested the Secretariat to organize a workshop on LDC needs assessments, and a number of other Members had requested the Secretariat to contact the WTO Secretariat coordinator of Aid for Trade and the Integrated Framework Executive Secretariat to inform Council Members of the opportunities under these initiatives and advise LDCs on the steps they would need to take in order to take advantage of these opportunities. 181. She said that, in response to the request from the LDC Group, the Secretariat was organizing a workshop on LDC priority needs for technical and financial cooperation on 29 October 2009 bringing together delegates and other officials from LDCs and donor countries, and from the WTO and WIPO Secretariats. This was a technical level workshop to promote practical dialogue and coordination on the needs assessment process. The workshop followed up similar exercises held before, and was part of a concerted programme of coordination and information sharing so as to enhance the alignment of available resources with the needs identified by LDCs. Depending on feedback and guidance received from the concerned Members, it was envisaged that the Secretariat would organize follow up activities in the coming year. 182. As regards the request for information relating to activities of the Aid for Trade initiative and the Integrated Framework Executive Secretariat, Mr Hans Peter Werner from the WTO Development Division coordinating the Aid for Trade initiative and Ms Sari Laaksonen, Deputy Coordinator of the Integrated Framework Executive Secretariat, had agreed to brief the Council on these two initiatives. In preparation for this meeting, the Secretariat had also compiled information it had received on the respective roles of these two initiatives with respect to the LDC needs assessment process and circulated it for the Council's information in a background note IP/C/W/544. 183. Furthermore, she said that Brazil had just submitted an addendum to its earlier communication on "Technical Cooperation and Capacity Building: 'Cluster' A of the Development Agenda", circulated in document IP/C/W/513 (being circulated in document IP/C/W/513/Add.1).