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

Ambassador Dacio Castillo (Honduras)
M.i Status of acceptances
224. The Chairman said that, since the Council's meeting in March 2012, Togo and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia had deposited their instruments of acceptance of the Protocol Amending the TRIPS Agreement on 13 March and 29 May 2012, respectively.3 To date, 44 instruments of acceptance had been deposited, including the one by the European Union and its member States. He encouraged those Members that had not yet notified their acceptance of the Protocol to ensure that necessary measures were being taken in their capitals to allow the consideration of the acceptance in a timely fashion. 225. In the light of the decision taken by the General Council to extend the period for acceptance of the Protocol Amending the TRIPS Agreement until 31 December 2013, the WTO Director-General, at the General Council meeting of 1 May 2012, had drawn Members' attention to the importance of accepting the Protocol and urged those Members who had not yet accepted it to consult with their governments so that domestic procedures could be completed in due course. That was needed to give legal certainty to this additional pro-health flexibility for the more vulnerable Members. He had also recalled that by accepting the Protocol, a Member needed not implement domestic legislation to use the flexibilities; the acceptance simply confirmed the existing political agreement that the new flexibilities should be open to other Members to make use of, if they chose to do so. 226. In that context, the Chair recalled that the Secretariat had made available on the WTO website information regarding the procedural requirements of acceptance together with a model instrument of acceptance,4 which could be accessed through the dedicated gateway page on "TRIPS and Public Health".5 The purpose of that information was to assist Members in drawing up their instruments of acceptance. The relevant information was available on a webpage on "How to Accept the Protocol Amending the TRIPS Agreement".

3 3: Documents WT/Let/848 and WT/Let/855.

4 4: http://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/trips_e/accept_e.htm

5 5: http://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/trips_e/pharmpatent_e.htm