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)
European Union
351. The representative of the European Union said that the European Union had played a significant role in helping least developed countries to fulfil their TRIPS obligations, and not only those who had submitted their needs assessments to the WTO. In particular, it had already funded technical assistance with Bangladesh, Uganda and Zambia and had engaged in talks on how to provide assistance to Sierra Leone. It had also funded regional work, including with COMESA, OAPI and ARIPO. 352. The European Union funded its assistance in the ACP and overseas territories through the European Development Fund, and with other regions through the Development Cooperation Instrument. There were also EPA (Economic Partnership Agreement) components within the European Development Fund, such as the EPA Eastern African Community Support Programme – those had been used to provide IP-related assistance. 353. The European Development Fund financed a number of organizations who worked closely with least developed countries in the ACP region, including TradeCom, BizClim, and the ACP-MTS Programme, who could assist least developed countries in formulating requests for technical assistance. 354. As to the more recent submissions by Bangladesh, Rwanda and Tanzania, the European Union would be looking to help them and see how it could provide assistance in the context of existing EU programmes and in coordination perhaps with other projects. 355. Uganda, who had submitted its individual needs earlier, had recently benefited from two projects financed by the European Union within existing programmes. The first project involved technical assistance by BizClim with the objective of strengthening public-private dialogue to update Uganda's national IP policy legal and regulatory framework; the second co-involved technical assistance by TradeCom to the Uganda Ministry of Tourism, Trade and Industry in the area of IPRs. The European Union was also in contact with Sierra Leone who had submitted its individual needs recently. 356. Following on from the excellent Symposium that had been held in the WTO the previous week over three days, the European Union looked forward to dealing with requests as they came in. He assured Members that they would be given serious consideration.