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

Ambassador Dacio Castillo (Honduras)
226. The representative of South Africa said that, although there had been an opportunity to speak before the WHO took the floor, his delegation preferred to reserve its comments. This was an issue that South Africa had previously taken the floor on, and would continue to do so. He said that the discussion Members were having in the Council was a very sensitive discussion that involved a tension between public health and a legitimate right to trademark protection. His delegation recognised the sensitivity of the issue even if it did not have a view one way or the other. His delegation did, however, believe that the remit of the TRIPS Council went beyond the issues that the representatives of the WHO had correctly raised and which were substantively the same as had been heard before. 227. South Africa had no difficulty as a delegation with what it had heard. He did, however, consider it worth recalling that Members' responsibility was both to the questions of public health, and to the trade and commercial aspects of the issue. Therefore, although his delegation appreciated the WHO's angle, it considered it worthwhile recalling the presentation from Chile, which he believed had been very balanced and had brought forward precisely the responsibilities that Members had in the Council. His delegation wished therefore to urge the WHO, in going forward, to also appreciate that Members' mandate in this body was broader than the issues WHO had to consider. He said that his delegation had expressed this particular concern at the Council's last meeting, and would continue to do so, also in stronger terms if necessary, as it was important that this Council be allowed to have an in depth debate on this issue that was within the framework of its mandate.