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

Ambassador Federico A. González (Paraguay) (24-25 October) and Mr. Martin Glass (Hong Kong, China) (17 November)
World Health Organization (WHO)
G.4 Capacity building on the Paragraph 6 System and related TRIPS flexibilities
205. The representative of the WHO Secretariat said that special emphasis had been given in his organization's capacity building activities to the implementation and use of flexibilities in accordance with the TRIPS Agreement and the Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health. The aim had been to ensure that public health interests were adequately taken into account in the formulation of national policies and legislation on trade and intellectual property. Many of the activities, especially in the field of training, capacity building and technical assistance, thus encompassed TRIPS flexibilities. Support was directed towards assisting Member States on how to safeguard public health interests while adhering to their obligations under international trade agreements. In particular, this included developing public health sensitive patent legislation and incorporating TRIPS flexibilities into domestic legislation. Technical support was carried out in close collaboration with WHO country and regional offices and relevant international organizations. 206. Turning to specific activities, he reported that in March 2011, WHO, along with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and UNAIDS, had published a policy brief on the use of TRIPS flexibilities to improve access to HIV/AIDS treatment. The paper reviewed how countries could use and had used TRIPS flexibilities in order to increase access to HIV treatment. To provide ministries of health in the Eastern Mediterranean Region with a clear analysis of the public health implications of provisions included in bilateral free trade agreements, the WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean had also published a policy guide on "Public health related TRIPS-plus provisions in bilateral trade agreements". 207. In 2011, WHO had taught for the first time a module on "Public health and Intellectual Property" in the framework of the Master's Degree in Intellectual Property at the Africa University in Zimbabwe, jointly organized by WIPO, the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) and Africa University. 208. He recalled that WHO had provided substantial support to the organization of the annual WTO "Workshop on Intellectual Property and Public Health" that took place in Geneva in October 2011. The workshop had addressed TRIPS provisions and flexibilities of relevance to public health as well as other relevant issues ranging from procurement to regulatory questions and prices of medicines. WHO Headquarters and the WHO European Regional Office had collaborated with WTO in the organization of a Regional Workshop for Central and Eastern European and Central Asian Countries on Intellectual Property and Public Policy that had taken place in Vienna in January 2011. WHO Headquarters and regional offices had also continued providing, upon request and in collaboration with relevant international organizations, technical and policy support to favour use and management of intellectual property in a manner that maximized health-related innovation and promoted access to medical technologies.