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

Ambassador Dacio Castillo (Honduras)
11.47. The representative of Bangladesh said that there were some ambiguities that needed to be cleared. LDCs were not asking for a total autonomy from the Agreement. They would still continue to be bound by its Articles 3, 4 and 5. Contrary to what certain delegations believed, the LDC Group's request was not aimed at getting a complete waiver. 11.48. The grant of an additional extension had to be automatic. Referring to the 6th recital of the Preamble to the Agreement, he said that the idea behind "flexibility" was to create a sound and viable technological base in the LDCs, but not to make them more TRIPS compliant. Citing Article 66.2, he said the Council "shall", upon duly motivated request by an LDC Member, accord extensions of the transition period. There was no way of otherwise interpreting the provision; extension must be automatically granted upon duly motivated request. 11.49. The last extension was granted seven years ago and, out of these seven years, four years were lost due to financial crisis and concomitant food and fuel crises. During this financial crisis, LDCs were the hardest hit. According to UNCTAD and other studies, the marginalization of the LDCs had increased over this period. The per capita growth had fallen to 1.2% compared to 5.7% in 2005, the year of the last extension. The LDCs' current account deficit was USD183 million in 2006, and was grown to an astonishing amount of USD15.5 billion in 2011. LDCs' imports rose more than exports. 11.50. Financial and technical cooperation and assistance were extremely inadequate. Almost no transfer of technology had taken place from developed countries to LDCs. Moreover, most of the LDCs were also vulnerable to climate change. There were no basic facilities like access to medicine. Under such circumstances, it was only natural that LDCs were assisted by all Members regarding the extension. He hoped that the Council would take the appropriate decision by supporting the LDC Group proposal in document IP/C/W/583.