63. The representative of the Secretariat informed the Council that, at a ceremony with representatives of LDCs at the WIPO headquarters held on 14 June 2001, the respective Directors General of WTO and WIPO had launched a new joint initiative to provide technical assistance to LDCs. This joint initiative was aimed at helping LDC Members to comply with their obligations under the TRIPS Agreement. It was also open to other LDCs and was aimed at helping LDCs make best use of the intellectual property system for their economic, social and cultural development. The new joint initiative was being taken under the auspices of the WIPO-WTO Cooperation Agreement which entered into force on 1 January 1996 which provided for cooperation, inter alia, in the provision of technical assistance. It built on existing cooperation between WIPO and WTO and their respective technical cooperation programmes, and on their experience from the joint initiative on technical cooperation launched in July 1998 to assist developing country Members to meet their commitments under the TRIPS Agreement by 2000. Under the joint initiative in favour of LDCs, the two Organizations, together with countries requesting assistance and, where appropriate, donor countries, would endeavour to maximize the use of available resources in the coming critical period by ensuring that technical cooperation programmes were efficiently planned and coordinated. The joint initiative envisaged assistance in two phases: in the first phase, the two Organizations would organize two regional workshops during the course of 2002: one for the LDCs in sub-Saharan Africa and Haiti and the other for LDCs in the Asia-Pacific region. The objective of these workshops would be to ensure that officials from these countries were fully familiar with the basic concepts, principles and obligations laid down in the TRIPS Agreement, in particular with a view to facilitating implementation and identifying critical implementation challenges. Invitations to these workshops would be extended also to LDCs that were not WTO Members nor WIPO member states. These workshops, together with bilateral contacts, would, in a second phase, help in drawing up a list of priority forms of assistance that would be provided under the joint initiative in the form of specific country action plans. Requests for technical cooperation under the joint initiative could be sent by LDCs to either the WTO or WIPO.