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

Ambassador Mero (United Republic of Tanzania)
7 Non-violation and Situation Complaints
245. Argentina's position on this matter is well-known and remains unchanged. We feel that complaints that are not based on a violation and other sorts of situation complaints are not relevant to the TRIPS Agreement as is established in document IP/C/W/385/Rev.1 which was co sponsored by my country along with a number of other Members of this Organization.
The Council took note of the Chairman's summary and the statements made.
37. The Chairman said that, at MC10, Ministers had directed the 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 to make recommendations to MC11 in 2017. This instruction mirrored the original mandate in Article 64.3 of the TRIPS Agreement. The Council had discussed this matter in March and June 2016 based in part on a communication from the United States on "Non-Violation Complaints under the TRIPS Agreement" (IP/C/W/599); as well as a revised and updated version of "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 forthcoming Ministerial Conference (IP/C/W/607), both sponsored by several Members.

38. In June 2016, he had remarked that the Council's work had been effectively blocked since the first discussions in the late 1990s. Recent discussions had mostly served to repeat well-known positions. The Council heard less on the question of scope and modalities, the specific aspect instructed by Ministers. He had consulted with Members in line with the Council's request in June 2016. These consultations had produced no new thinking or shifts in delegations' positions, and so he had no indication so far of how the Council could work towards fulfilling the Ministers' instructions in the remaining 12 months, and to prepare recommendations for MC11. There had been no consensus support for the idea, floated earlier, that he or the Secretariat put together a non-paper on possible elements of scope and modalities. At present, Members remained divided as to whether non-violation and situation complaints should apply to the TRIPS Agreement and whether there was a need to establish scope and modalities at all.

39. The Chairman reminded delegations that the initial deadline for accomplishing this task had been 1999 and that concrete proposals how to prepare the requested recommendations were yet to be tabled, after nearly 18 years of debate in the Council for TRIPS. If delegations wished to break the current cycle of extending the non-violation moratorium from one Ministerial Conference to the next, concrete suggestions would be needed in order to allow the Council to intensify its work on the examination of scope and modalities for non-violation and situation complaints.

40. He summarized for the record the main points of the discussion that Members had made in informal mode, noting that Members had a constructive exchange of views on whether a non-paper should be prepared, but could not reach agreement.

41. The representatives of the United States, Ecuador, Colombia, Switzerland, Egypt, India, Bangladesh, China, Argentina, the Russian Federation, Brazil, Japan, Peru, South Africa, Chinese Taipei, the Republic of Korea, Canada, the Plurinational State of Bolivia and Pakistan took the floor.

42. The Council took note of the Chairman's summary and the statements made.

IP/C/M/83, IP/C/M/83/Add.1