204. The Chairman recalled that the Council had agreed, at its meeting in June 2012, to hold its annual review of technical cooperation at the present meeting. He suggested that, in this context, the Council discuss also other issues relating to this agenda item, including LDC priority needs for technical and financial cooperation.
205. In preparation for this 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 present meeting. Other Members who had also made available technical cooperation had been encouraged to share information on these activities if they so wished. On 15 June, the Secretariat had issued an airgram (WTO/AIR/3957) reminding Members of this request. In addition, intergovernmental organizations observers to the Council as well as the WTO Secretariat had also been invited to provide information.
206. The Council had received information from the following developed country Members: Japan; New Zealand; Australia; Norway; Switzerland; Canada; the United States; the European Union and individual member States, namely Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom (being circulated in document IP/C/W/582 and addenda). Updated information had been received from the following intergovernmental organizations: the WCO, FAO, WHO, UPOV, and OECD (document IP/C/W/581, addenda and corrigenda). Updated information on the WTO Secretariat's own technical cooperation activities in the TRIPS area could be found in document IP/C/W/577.
207. Furthermore, the Russian Federation had notified its contact point for technical cooperation on TRIPS, and the United States had updated the contact point it had provided earlier. The information on the Members' transparency toolkit page had been updated accordingly.
208. As regards 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 in taking steps necessary to implement the TRIPS Agreement".
209. Since the Council's meeting in June, Mali had submitted information identifying its priority needs (IP/C/W/575). Earlier, the Council had received such information from six other Members, namely Sierra Leone, Uganda, Bangladesh, Rwanda, Tanzania and Senegal.
210. In addition to their regular annual reports on technical cooperation, since the Council's meeting in June, Japan and Canada had provided complementary reports specifically focusing on their technical cooperation activities for the benefit of LDCs (IP/C/W/572/Rev.1 and IP/C/W/579, respectively). He recalled that the European Union had provided such a complementary report to the Council's meeting in June (IP/C/W/568).
211. 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 this request, the Secretariat had held the previous week a three-day Symposium on LDC Priority Needs for Technical and Financial Cooperation. The purpose of the Symposium had been to bring together key representatives from LDCs, cooperating partners in developed countries and international and regional organizations with a view to sharing experiences on the process so far, as well as explaining on-going activities and outstanding needs to complete the process.
212. He mentioned that, as part of a series of thematic workshops held under the auspices of the Committee on Trade and Development, the Secretariat had held a workshop on Aid for Trade and IP on 5 November. The workshop had been intended to highlight the links between IP, trade and development.
213. He also recalled that, in view of the on-going implementation of the recommendations for savings and more efficient use of resources made by the Budget Committee (WT/BFA/128), the Council, at its meeting in June, had invited the Secretariat to identify ways of facilitating the submission, processing and circulation of this information as well, and to consult with delegations at a technical level and report to the Council's present meeting.