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).
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