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

Ambassador Al-Otaibi (Kingdom of Saudi-Arabia)
124. Argentina's position on this issue is well known and has not changed. We believe that non-violation and situation complaints do not apply to the TRIPS Agreement. This position is based on the reasons stated in IP/C/W/385/Rev.1, which Argentina co-sponsors with a large number of Members.
The Council took note of the statements made and agreed to revert to this matter at its next meeting.
6.1. The Chairman recalled that, at its reconvened meeting on 23 November 2015, the TRIPS Council had agreed to recommend that the Tenth Session of the Ministerial Conference decide to extend the moratorium on TRIPS non-violation and situation complaints.

6.2. Pursuant to this recommendation, Ministers had directed the TRIPS Council to continue its examination of the scope and modalities for complaints of the types provided for under subparagraphs 1(b) and 1(c) of Article XXIII of GATT 1994 and make recommendations to their next Session that would be held in 2017. It had been agreed that, in the meantime, Members would not initiate such complaints under the TRIPS Agreement. This decision of the Tenth Session of the Ministerial Conference had been circulated in document WT/L/976.

6.3. He further recalled that Members had discussed the matter at all three meetings that the Council had held in 2015. A number of documents submitted by Members had served as the basis for an intense exchange of views in the Council. These documents included, in particular, a communication on "Non-Violation Complaints under the TRIPS Agreement" by the United States, circulated in document IP/C/W/599, as well as a revision of an earlier communication on "Non-Violation and Situation Nullification or Impairment under the TRIPS Agreement" (IP/C/W/385/Rev.1) and a draft decision on non-violation and situation complaints for consideration at the Tenth Ministerial Conference (IP/C/W/607), both co-sponsored by a number of Members, including the African Group and the LDC Group.

6.4. At the Council's reconvened meeting in November 2015, many Members had flagged their readiness to resume work immediately after the Nairobi Ministerial Conference in order to find a permanent solution.

6.5. He also recalled that the initial deadline for accomplishing this task was 1999 and that there were still no concrete proposals on the table as to how the Council might prepare the recommendations. Just keeping the item on the agenda had not yielded any solution over the past 17 years. This should be of particular concern to delegations. He therefore particularly welcomed any concrete suggestions or ideas on how the Council could best engage in intensified work on the examination of the scope and modalities for non-violation complaints with a view to finding a way out of the current cycle of extending the non-violation moratorium from one Ministerial Conference to the next.

6.6. The representatives of the United States; India; Canada; Cuba; the Plurinational State of Bolivia; Indonesia; Peru; Chinese Taipei; Japan; Egypt; Ecuador; Argentina; China; Malaysia; Colombia; Thailand; Bangladesh; the Russian Federation; the Republic of Korea; Brazil; the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela; Hong Kong, China; Switzerland and the United States took the floor.

6.7. The Chairman suggested that the Council request the incoming Chair to consult on the matter before its next meeting in June.

6.8. The Council took note of the statements made and agreed to revert to this matter at its next meeting.

IP/C/M/81, IP/C/M/81/Add.1