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

Ms Irene Young (Hong Kong, China)
African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO)
259. It is a pleasure and honour for me, on behalf of the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) to address the WTO Council for TRIPS, specifically on the technical cooperation programmes relating to the implementation of the TRIPS Agreement. 260. As you may know, ARIPO is an Intergovernmental Organization that was created with a view to pool together resources of its Member States for the promotion, development and harmonization of Intellectual Property laws and policies and to ensure that it contributes to the social, economic and technological development of its Member States. To date ARIPO is composed by 19 Member States from East, West and Southern Africa. 261. Pursuant to its mandate, ARIPO organizes activities and programmes either solely or in conjunction with its partners. These programmes and activities are mainly aimed at assisting ARIPO's Member States in IP matters in order to capacitate Member States to better use the IP system for the benefit of their populations. 262. ARIPO circulated earlier a detailed report as per your request that is found in document IP/C/W/633/Add.4. I will hence not take much time, but I wish to highlight a few achievements that were registered during this year. 263. In the course of 2017, the initiatives that were undertaken focused on awareness raising, training, improvement of the legal and institutional framework, enforcement and dissemination of information on IP. For the awareness component on IP matters, ARIPO continued roving seminars in member States, but this year's flagship was the engagement of the main generators of IP rights, i.e. the Universities and Research Institutions. A number of seminars were conducted in some Universities (in Sierra Leone, Zambia, Swaziland and another one planned in Rwanda in early November) with the objective of raising IP awareness in the universities, colleges and research institutions so that they can utilize the system nationally and regionally for accruing economic benefit to the institutions 264. In the same vein, ARIPO has conducted a number of seminars on IP in a number of universities in the host country. 265. ARIPO and the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC) jointly organized a Regional Workshop on Strategic Plan for Collective Management Organizations (CMOs) with the aim of equipping CEOs of CMOs on how to prepare strategic plan for a better management of the their offices. 266. In collaboration with WIPO, ARIPO also organized a symposium on Copyright and Related Rights on the theme: Shaping the Copyright and Related Rights System in Africa. The symposium brought together copyright offices, collective management organizations in ARIPO member States and entrepreneurs. The finalization of the Copyright Agenda for Africa is among the outcomes of the Symposium. 267. ARIPO has also launched a number of publications related to copyright in order to boost the knowledge on this IP component in the member States. 268. Finally, a comparative study of industrial property laws of member States was also commissioned by ARIPO in a view to help member States harmonize their laws. 269. ARIPO has limited resources. The above achievements and others that are detailed in the report were possible thanks to the cooperation with our strategic partners, specifically WIPO, Japan Patent Office, the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) of the People's Republic of China, USPTO, IP Australia, the Government of the Republic of Korea, the International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organisations (IFRRO), the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC), the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), NORCODE and of course the national IP Offices of the ARIPO member States.
The Council took note of the statements made and agreed to revert to the matter at its next meeting.
49. The Chairperson recalled that, at its meeting in June, the Council had agreed to hold the annual review of technical cooperation at the present meeting. Developed country Members had been requested to update information on their technical and financial cooperation activities relevant to the implementation of the TRIPS Agreement. Other Members who also provided technical cooperation were encouraged to share information on these activities. The Secretariat had issued an airgram, on 4 July 2017, reminding Members of this request. Intergovernmental organizations, which were observers to the Council, and the WTO Secretariat had also been invited to provide information.

50. The Council had received information from: Japan, Australia, the United States, Canada, New Zealand, Switzerland and Norway (IP/C/W/632 and its addenda). The report from the European Union and some of its individual member States and agencies, namely Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom, as well as the Community Plant Variety Office had been received shortly before the meeting and was being circulated as an addendum to document IP/C/W/632.

51. The following intergovernmental organizations had also submitted updated information: the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO); the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the World Health Organization (WHO), the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC), the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO), and the World Customs Organization (WCO) (IP/C/W/633 and addenda). Updated information on the WTO Secretariat's own technical cooperation activities in the TRIPS area was available in document IP/C/W/634.

52. The Chairperson said that, since some of the information had been received only very recently, and most of it was, so far, available only in its original language, she intended to provide Members a further opportunity to comment on the information at the Council's next meeting.

53. The representatives of Australia; the United States; Norway; the European Union; Canada; Japan; New Zealand, the WTO Secretariat, ARIPO, the GCC, the WHO, UNCTAD, India, Brazil, and China took the floor.

54. The Chairperson said that the reports by Members and IGO observers provided valuable information about specific activities, as well as the broader policy considerations that were guiding capacity building activities of individual Members and Observers. She encouraged Members to make good use of this resource.

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

IP/C/M/87, IP/C/M/87/Add.1