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

Ambassador Alfredo Suescum (Panama)
144. South Africa would like to align itself with the statements made by India, Brazil, Lesotho and Morocco on behalf of the African Group. South Africa has always supported the LDCs' request for an extension of their transition period under Article 66.1 of the TRIPS Agreement without any conditionalities. South Africa is not satisfied with the compromise outcome of the extension period. However, we can live with it. The compromise decision to grant an extension of eight years is far removed from the legitimate original request that the LDCs had made. Regrettably, despite overwhelming support from developing countries and a few developed countries, an outcome has been negotiated which is a derogation from the provisions of Article 66.1. Nevertheless, since the compromise decision represents a step forward from the 2005 Decision, South Africa is also ready to join the consensus on adopting the Decision to grant an extension to LDCs under Article 66.1 of the TRIPS Agreement.
The Council so agreed.
10.1. The Chairman recalled that, at the Council's meeting in November 2012, Haiti on behalf of the LDC Group had presented, under "Other Business", a request for an extension of the current transition period under Article 66.1 of the TRIPS Agreement that the LDC Group had submitted just prior to that meeting (IP/C/W/583). The extended general transition period was set to expire on 1 July 2013. At the request of Nepal on behalf of the LDC Group, the Council had had this item on the agenda of its meeting in March 2013. After its first discussion of the request, the Council had agreed to revert to the matter at the present meeting, and had requested the Chair to hold consultations with a view to resolving the matter at the present meeting.

10.2. He said that, in light of the consultations, he had circulated for Members' consideration a draft decision on the extension of the transition period under Article 66.1 for least developed country Members. This draft had been discussed at the Council's informal meetings on 7 June and briefly before before the present meeting. In light of those discussions, he suggested that the Council adopt the decision as contained in document JOB/IP/8.

10.3. The Council so agreed.4

10.4. The Chairman thanked all the delegations involved in the consultations for their hard work and considerable efforts, as well as those delegations which, although not directly involved, had provided support and counsel in the course of the consultation process. He extended his thanks to the Secretariat, which at all times was working alongside the process, and finally his predecessor, Ambassador Castillo, who had started off the consultation process and set it off on the right track.

10.5. The representatives of Nepal on behalf of the LDC Group; Haiti; the Dominican Republic; India; Morocco on behalf of the African Group; El Salvador; Lesotho; Brazil; South Africa; China; Australia; Norway; Mexico; Argentina; Uruguay; Chile; Japan; the United States; Canada; the European Union; Hong Kong, China; Korea; Switzerland; Tanzania; Rwanda and the Holy See (as Observer) took the floor under this agenda item. The statements will be reproduced in an addendum to the present record.

10.6. The Council took note of the statements made.

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