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

H.E. Ambassador Dr. Walter Werner
648.   Six years ago, the GCC Secretariat General and its Patent Office have been granted a status of an ad hoc observer in the TRIPS Council, since then they attended all the sessions of the Council, presented reports on technical cooperation activities annually, and made statements on this issue under the relevant agenda item. 649.   The GCC is an intergovernmental regional organization which places the economic issues at the heart of its activities. Its Secretariat General is the executive body in charge of coordinating the daily business of the GCC including the area of intellectual property enforcement. It is responsible for developing common regulations and institutions to ensure protection of intellectual property rights, as well as assisting GCC Members in implementing the TRIPS Agreement. 650.   We believe that granting the GCC Secretariat General permanent observer status will be of merit, and will help in enhancing their engagement in the Council's work on a closer and more regular basis.
The Council took note of the statements made and agreed to grant permanent observer status to the GCC and to invite EFTA to attend the next meeting on an ad hoc basis.
61.   The Chair recalled that there were still 13 pending requests for observer status in the TRIPS Council by intergovernmental organizations. The updated list was contained in document IP/C/W/52/Rev.13. Information provided by these organizations on their respective work and the reasons for their interest in observer status was available on the Members' website.
62.   While there had been some progress last year, when the Council agreed to grant permanent observer status to ARIPO and OAPI, other pending requests could not move ahead. Members should consider these requests on their individual merits, particularly, the competence and interest that the requesting entity had in matters dealt with by the TRIPS Council. Members' positions with respect to the pending requests had been well recorded in the Council minutes. He encouraged delegations to take the floor only if there were new suggestions or developments to share. He informed Members that the GCC had requested to make a statement first. The purpose was to reiterate the interest to become a permanent observer.
63.   The representatives of the GCC, Jordan, the State of Kuwait, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, the Kingdom of Bahrain, Egypt, Brazil and China took the floor.
64.   The Chair proposed that the Council grant the GCC permanent observer status. He encouraged delegations to hold bilateral consultations regarding the observer status of the CBD Secretariat and the South Centre. He suggested to invite the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) to attend the next meeting on an ad hoc basis again. This was in line with the agreement reached at the Council's meetings in November 2012 to grant EFTA ad hoc observer status on a meeting-by-meeting basis.
65.   The Council took note of the statements made and agreed to grant permanent observer status to the GCC and to invite EFTA to attend the next meeting on an ad hoc basis.
IP/C/M/90, IP/C/M/90/Add.1