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

H.E. Ambassador Dr. Walter Werner
492.   We would like to thank Members for the constructive debate that we have been able to have in this house recently. In particular, South Africa once again extends its congratulations to the Cooperation Council of the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC) for having been granted regular observer status. 493.   Based on document IP/C/W/52/Rev.14, there are still several requests for observer status to the TRIPS Council that remain outstanding. South Africa supports the request that observer status be granted to the ACP Group, which represents 79 Members. There are 48 countries from SubSaharan Africa, 16 from the Caribbean and 15 from the Pacific. ACP Group´s main objectives are sustainable development of its Members and their gradual integration into the global economy, which entails making poverty reduction a matter of priority and establishing a new, fairer, and more equitable world order. At the WTO the ACP remains an influential group and will greatly benefit from being granted observer status either on an ad hoc or permanent basis. 494.   We also would like to reiterate previous calls for Members to agree on granting observer status to the South Centre and the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).
45.   The Chair said that an updated list of pending requests for observer status in the TRIPS Council by intergovernmental organizations 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.
46.   He recalled that, at its November 2018, the Council had agreed to grant permanent observer status to the Cooperation Council of the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC). Regarding the pending requests, he encouraged Members to try to resolve the differences among themselves and said that the Chair stood ready to assist.
47.   The representatives of South Africa, Ecuador, the United States of America, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, China and Bangladesh took the floor.
48.   The Chair recalled that, at its meeting in November 2012, the Council had agreed to grant ad hoc observer status on a meeting-to-meeting basis to the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). Since then, this invitation had been renewed at each meeting. He suggested to invite the EFTA to attend the Council's next formal meeting on an ad hoc basis.
49.   The Council took note of the statements made and agreed to invite EFTA to attend the next meeting on an ad hoc basis.
IP/C/M/91, IP/C/M/91/Add.1, IP/C/M/91/Corr.1