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

H.E. Ambassador Lundeg Purevsuren
Bolivia, Plurinational State of

77.   Bolivia's position on these agenda items is widely known, and it maintains firmly and invariably its position in accordance with document IP/C/W/545 of 26 February 2010. 78.   Review of the provisions of Article 27.3 (b) is an outstanding issue for this Council and responds to the mandate of the Doha Development Agenda by virtue of paragraph 19 of the Ministerial Declaration of 2001. As such, it should have been a topic of discussion four years after the entry into force of the WTO Agreement. 79.   The patenting of life forms and parts thereof is a cause for grave concern for many cultures and peoples of the world who consider that life and parts thereof are sacred and therefore should not be patentable. 80.   Consequently, we reiterate the need to prohibit the patenting of all forms of life, including plants and animals and parts thereof, gene sequences, micro-organisms, as well as all processes including biological, microbiological and non-biological processes for the production of life forms and parts thereof. 81.   Patenting of life forms promotes an imbalance in the current intellectual property system. The TRIPS Agreement, while granting monopoly rights to private parties, does not explicitly recognize the collective rights of indigenous peoples and local communities over their biological resources and traditional knowledge, farmers' rights or the sovereign rights of Members. Nor does it require ensuring that the provisions of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), including those relating to prior informed consent and benefit sharing, are respected. 82.   Against this backdrop, Bolivia supports any and all initiatives and efforts aimed at finding a balance between the CBD and the TRIPS. 83.   We consider that the absence of a balanced international framework that protects genetic resources, traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions has enabled the proliferation of practices such as bio piracy, leaving developing countries above all without appropriate mechanisms to provide adequate protection, and that is why this topic should remain on the Council's agenda.

The Council took note of the statements made and agreed to revert to the matters at its next meeting.
18.   The Chair proposed that, following past practice, agenda items 4, 5 and 6 be addressed together. He noted that there had been important developments in these areas in many WTO Members, which had not been shared with the Council. Until recently, only 25 Members had responded to the List of Questions on Article 27.3(b), and the last response dated from 2003. Mexico had recently submitted its responses, which had been circulated in document IP/C/W/125/Add.25. He invited Mexico to introduce its submission.
19.   The representative of Mexico took the floor.
20.   The Chair encouraged delegations to submit responses to the List of Questions or update their previous responses; as well as notify any relevant changes in legislation.
21.   He noted that two longstanding procedural issues under these items have been discussed extensively on the record, at every regular meeting of the Council for almost nine years:
a. First, the suggestion for the Secretariat to update the three factual notes on the Council's discussions on the TRIPS and CBD and related items; these notes were initially prepared in 2002 and last updated in 2006; and
b. Second, the request to invite the CBD Secretariat to brief the Council on the Nagoya Protocol to the CBD, initially proposed in October 2010.
22.   The positions on these issues were well-known and already extensively recorded in the Council minutes. In addressing these procedural questions, he encouraged delegations to focus on suggestions as to how to make resolve them.
23.   The representatives of Mexico; Benin, on behalf of the LDC Group; Switzerland; the Plurinational State of Bolivia; Nigeria; Bangladesh; Japan; Brazil; Indonesia; China; India, New Zealand; South Africa; Canada; Australia; the Russian Federation; and the United States of America took the floor.
24.   The Council took note of the statements made and agreed to revert to the matters at its next meeting.
IP/C/M/92, IP/C/M/92/Add.1, IP/C/M/92/Corr.1