211. The representative of UNCTAD noted that his organization's initial mandate on issues related to access to medicines had come from the Commission on Investment in 2005. The 2005 Commission had requested UNCTAD to initiate work on local production of pharmaceuticals in developing countries, with particular reference to the role that IP and technology transfer might play. That mandate had been taken up later at the Accra Accord, by which UNCTAD had been given a broader mandate to work on the development dimensions of intellectual property. The Accra Accord mandate, which governed UNCTAD's activities directly, had also mentioned the WIPO Development Agenda and had called upon UNCTAD to cooperate with WIPO on issues related to the development dimension of intellectual property. Finally, UNCTAD had been named as a stakeholder in the WHO Global Strategy and Plan of Action on Public Health, Innovation and Intellectual Property, in particular for issues related to technology transfer, intellectual property and local production of pharmaceuticals. UNCTAD defined intellectual property broadly, looking at where to draw the line between the grant of exclusive rights and what should be in the public domain, and not just covering the exclusive rights themselves. Intellectual property formed part of larger development concerns including health, education, industrial development, technology transfer, innovation, agricultural development and various other areas of development. There was a need to ensure that the intellectual property system functioned to support important development objectives. Intellectual property was therefore not an objective in its own right, but rather a means to an end. In the context of flexibilities for public health, the strategic use of flexibilities balanced with obligations under international treaties could help to ensure better alignment of intellectual property policies with development objectives.
212. UNCTAD's intellectual property advisory services were based on requests from developing countries and LDCs. They resulted in advisory reports, which contained analysis, recommendations to the country based on research field missions and wide stakeholder consultations in the country. These advisory reports could be either published, such as the report on Uganda's Development Dimensions in IP, published in June 2010 (accessible at http://www.unctad.org/ddip), or they could be private. The output would be given only to the requesting government Ministry. In addition to advisory services, UNCTAD had run a series of regional workshops on TRIPS and local production of pharmaceuticals in developing countries. UNCTAD had held four regional workshops, two for Eastern Africa, one for Southern and Western Africa, and one for South-East Asia. These workshops had had a total of 203 participants, 33 in 2009, 52 in 2008, 74 in 2007 and 44 in 2006. The audience for these workshops had been government officials, local pharmaceutical producers, health NGOs and academia. In total, the beneficiaries had included 19 countries and three regional organizations. The textbook that had been used to conduct these workshops had been developed in-house and would soon be published in a document called the "Reference Guide on Intellectual Property and Local Production of Pharmaceuticals". Follow up courses to these regional workshops had been organized by a German NGO called INVENT, with the support of a German grant.
213. UNCTAD's technical assistance activities were backed up through an active programme of research and analysis. Examples of the products of this programme had included joint publications with the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD) on issue papers, a paper series on Technology Transfer for Successful Integration into the Global Economy and UNCTAD-ICTSD policy briefs on WIPO Development Agenda issues. UNCTAD had considered the possibility of a policy brief on the IP and medicines issue in the future. Presently, UNCTAD was engaged with the WHO and the European Union in a series of case studies on local pharmaceutical production and related technology transfer. All research was either commissioned or written in house by staff and then peer-reviewed. UNCTAD had engaged in a limited amount of consensus building activities, with respect to TRIPS and public health issues. With respect to the WHO Global Strategy and Plan of Action, UNCTAD had co-hosted with UNIDO, WHO and ICTSD an ECOSOC Ministerial Breakfast Roundtable on global public health, high quality, low cost pharmaceutical production in developing countries. UNCTAD had also had a few expert seminars on an ad hoc basis in 2006 and 2007, dealing specifically with the question of local production of pharmaceuticals.