25. The Chair recalled that, at the Eleventh Ministerial Conference (MC11), 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 1994 and to make recommendations to MC12. It had also been agreed that, in the meantime, Members would not initiate such complaints under the TRIPS Agreement. At the General Council meeting of 26 July 2018, the Chair had also noted that the 2019 deadlines for the two moratoria on Electronic Commerce and on TRIPS non-violation and situation complaints would be maintained, notwithstanding the decision to hold MC12 in June 2020.
26. At the two meetings of the TRIPS Council that had been held since MC11, there had been some encouraging signs. A number of delegations had indicated their readiness to engage in a constructive discussion on scope and modalities in case non-violation and situation complaints were to apply to TRIPS. Also, at the Council's meeting in June, some delegations had given examples of what such modalities could look like.
27. While this would require delegations to reconsider their longstanding positions, such engagement in a constructive examination of scope and modalities would, indeed, help to move beyond the binary question of whether or not non-violation and situation complaints should apply to TRIPS at all. He invited Members to provide concrete suggestions regarding the possible way forward, particularly, if there were any developments that would permit the Council to examine scope and modalities, as instructed by Ministers, in order to prepare recommendations to the next Ministerial Conference. As MC12 was approaching, work needed to intensify. The Council was the best forum to discuss these issues. However, he was also available to assist delegations, including through informal consultations among interested delegations or individual discussions.
28. The representatives of India, Ecuador, South Africa, Bangladesh, Egypt, Brazil, Argentina, China, Canada, Chinese Taipei, Indonesia, the United States of America, Switzerland and the Russian Federation took the floor.
29. The Council took note of the statements made and agreed to revert to the matter at its next meeting.