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

Ambassador Federico A. González (Paraguay)
N.ii Annual review of the functioning of the Paragraph 6 System
249. The Chairman recalled that, at its last meeting, the Council had requested him to hold consultations on any further follow up to the annual review of the functioning of the Paragraph 6 System held in October 2010, and the preparations for the forthcoming annual review to be held in October 2011. During his consultations with a number of delegations, all of them had shared the view that the last annual review conducted on the dedicated day in October 2010 and the follow-up discussion in March had been very useful and constructive. All delegations had also shared the importance they attach to this matter. 250. Some delegations had said that they still had not heard the views of the civil society and industry, and had reiterated their suggestion concerning a workshop open to all stakeholders that should be organized so that it could feed into the 2011 review. Some other delegations had emphasized that this was first of all a process between Members and regretted that they had still heard very little from potential importers and beneficiaries of the System concerning any problems they might have faced. Therefore, these delegations had felt that such a workshop would be premature. It had also been said that there could be, at some point, a stakeholder meeting in the broader context of access to medicines, which should not be focused exclusively on the Paragraph 6 System, but should also include other issues such as pricing, procurement and customs tariffs. It had also been said that, if such a workshop were to be organized, it should not be in lieu of a workshop dedicated to the Paragraph 6 System. 251. Regarding the preparations for the next annual review, all delegations had shared the desire to make it as productive and constructive as possible. Some delegations had said that the focus should be on receiving more information from beneficiaries. It had been said that the October 2010 questions and the March 2011 follow-up questions were a good starting point for the preparations. In addition, there had been a suggestion that the Council work towards timely acceptances of the Protocol. 252. The Chairman said that it was his intention to pursue further consultations after the June meeting on the preparations of the Council's next annual review and the issue of a possible workshop. He suggested that the Council should work on the assumption that the annual review would at least follow a similar approach to that which had been widely welcomed by delegations in October 2010, noting that consultations would continue on further ways of improving and preparing for the review.