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)
G.5 Any alternatives to the use of Paragraph 6 System to achieve the objective of access to medicines, procurement policies, and other related aspects affecting access to medicines raised by Members
224. The representative of Switzerland referred to his delegation's intervention at the last annual review, which was recorded in paragraph 175 of the Council minutes (IP/C/M/64). In response to the question from the delegation of Ecuador on programmes put in place by his Government to address public health problems in developing countries, he noted that his delegation was active in many such programmes. Public health was one of the focus points of its development work at both the bilateral and multilateral levels. As regards programmes specifically linked to intellectual property, he referred to the reports that his delegation had submitted on technical cooperation, as well as on the obligation under Article 66.2 to provide incentives to transfer technology to least developed country Members. The 2011 report provided more details, in particular in paragraphs 28, 29 and 34 (IP/C/W/558/Add.5). Regarding programmes with a particular focus on development and health, but not specifically linked to intellectual property, more information could be accessed on the website of the Swiss Federal Agency for Development and Cooperation.9 225. With respect to any alternatives to the use of the Paragraph 6 System, he referred to his delegation's intervention at last year's annual review (IP/C/M/64, paragraphs 285 to 287). Turning to the proposal for an open-ended workshop to be held to gather information on the functioning of the System, which had been made by some delegations who considered that the exchange of experiences among Members had been exhausted, he maintained his delegation's view that holding such a workshop at this stage was premature. So far, it had not heard much from countries that were potential beneficiaries under the Paragraph 6 System. Most countries that had intervened were either potential exporting countries or countries with manufacturing capacity. However, those were not the countries that WTO Members had had in mind when devising the Paragraph 6 System. While his delegation was not in principle against the idea of holding a workshop, it was important to first establish within the Council the problems that potential beneficiaries had encountered, as well as their concerns with respect to the Paragraph 6 System. Before having heard those concerns, it would be difficult to even decide who should be invited to such a workshop and what specific problems should be highlighted and discussed.

9 9: http://www.deza.admin.ch/en/home/themes/health