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

Ambassador Alfredo Suescum (Panama)
World Trade Organization
9.1 Arrangements for the annual review
98. As the Chair has mentioned, the Council is responsible for a great deal of factual information in the area of technical co-operation. Overall, the documentation produced by the Council is voluminous. Of all of the documentation processed by the Secretariat, both for meetings, councils, committees and other material, we come in on 10% of the entire Secretariat's workload and well over double any other council or committee. It is therefore also a practical matter to work effectively with this information to collect in a more efficient manner and above all to process and disseminate it in a way that is much more useful for delegations. 99. In the area of technical co-operation in particular, there is a number of parallel reporting processes that we have been looking at so as to ensure that material is as consistent as possible and that reporting procedures and obligations are streamlined while not reducing in any way the detail, the content, the usefulness of the information reported. That work is continuing and we would like to invite those delegations with a particular interest in this area to an informal briefing tomorrow, for a first discussion and presentation of suggested prototype for a reporting tool. As with our other steps, to improve the capture and the flow of information the Council is responsible for, this prototype reporting tool does not effect in any way the notification reporting obligations of Members or seek to define those, but rather is established to create a more user-friendly interface for that material to be provided and for it to be managed and disseminated for the benefit of all those seeking to use the information.
The Council so agreed.
9.1. The Chairman said that the Council had traditionally undertaken its annual review of technical cooperation each autumn. He therefore suggested that the Council hold the annual review at its meeting scheduled for 10-11 October. Accordingly, he suggested that the Council invite developed country Members to supply information on their activities pursuant to Article 67 of the TRIPS Agreement. Other Members who also made available technical cooperation were encouraged to share information on these activities if they so wished. He also suggested that the Council invite those intergovernmental organizations that had observer status in the Council to provide information on their activities of relevance and that the WTO Secretariat also be instructed to report on its activities. He proposed that the Council request that this information be made available by 18 September in order to allow its timely circulation before the meeting.

9.2. The Council so agreed.

9.3. The Chairman said that the notifications on Article 67 activities represented one area where the Council produced a very significant amount of invaluable documentation, containing information which could be difficult to access and review to get an overall picture of developments. In view of the on-going implementation of the recommendations for savings and more efficient use of resources made by the Budget Committee3, the Council had invited, at its meeting in June 2012, the Secretariat to identify ways of facilitating the submission, processing and circulation of this information, and to consult with delegations at a technical level. He invited the Secretariat to provide an update on its work to develop an information management tool for this purpose.

9.4. The information provided by the representative of the Secretariat will be reproduced in an addendum to the present record.

IP/C/M/73, IP/C/M/73/Add.1