318. The Chairman recalled that the Council had agreed at its meeting in June 2011 to hold its annual review of technical cooperation at the present meeting. He suggested that, in that context, the Council also discuss other issues relating to the agenda item, including LDC priority needs for technical and financial cooperation.
319. In preparation for the annual review, developed country Members had once more been requested to update information on their technical and financial cooperation activities relevant to the implementation of the TRIPS Agreement in time for the meeting. Other Members who had also made available technical cooperation had also been encouraged to share information on those activities if they so wished. The Secretariat had issued on 28 July an airgram (WTO/AIR/3787) reminding Members of that request. In addition, intergovernmental organizations who were observers to the Council as well as the WTO Secretariat had also been invited to provide information.
320. The Council had received information from the following developed country Members: Norway; Japan; New Zealand; Australia; Canada; Switzerland; the United States; and the European Union and individual member States and agencies, namely Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Lithuania, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, and the United Kingdom, as well as the European Patent Office (being circulated in document IP/C/W/560 and addenda). Updated information had been received from the following intergovernmental organizations: the WCO, WHO, UNCTAD and WIPO (document IP/C/W/559 and addenda). Updated information on the WTO Secretariat's own technical cooperation activities in the TRIPS area could be found in document IP/C/W/557.
321. In addition, Canada had provided an update to its notification of a contact point for technical cooperation on TRIPS. The information on the Members' transparency toolkit page had been updated accordingly.
322. With regard to LDC needs assessments, he recalled that paragraph 2 of the TRIPS Council's 2005 decision on the "Extension of the Transition Period under Article 66.1 for Least-Developed Country Members" provided that "with a view to facilitating targeted technical and financial cooperation programmes, all the least-developed country Members will provide to the Council for TRIPS, preferably by 1 January 2008, as much information as possible on their individual priority needs for technical and financial cooperation in order to assist them taking steps necessary to implement the TRIPS Agreement". Such information had been received from six Members, namely Sierra Leone, Uganda, Bangladesh, Rwanda, Tanzania and Senegal.
323. The Council's 2005 Decision also provided that developed country Members were to provide technical and financial cooperation in accordance with Article 67 in order to effectively address the needs identified by LDCs. Furthermore, the Decision called for the WTO to enhance its cooperation with WIPO and other relevant international organizations with a view to making technical assistance and capacity building as effective and operational as possible.
324. He recalled that, at the Council's meeting in June 2009, the LDC Group had requested the WTO Secretariat to arrange a series of events to discuss LDCs' priority needs and the coordination of technical assistance to respond to the needs identified by LDC Members. Following up earlier similar activities it had organized in response to that request, the Secretariat had held the previous week a three-day Symposium on LDC Priority Needs for Technical and Financial Cooperation, which was convened to build on the lessons learned from individual needs assessments and from the series of regional workshops held in 2010. The purpose of the Symposium was to bring together key representatives from the least developed countries, cooperating partners in developed countries and international and regional organizations with a view to sharing experiences on the process thus far, as well as on-going activities and outstanding needs to complete the process.