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

H.E. Ambassador Dr Walter Werner
140.   We thank you for leading the small group discussion prior to this meeting. It was very useful for us in engaging with the stakeholders in a more informal way. 141.   As we mentioned on earlier occasions, my delegation's position on the proposed lifting of moratorium on the non-violation and situation complaints is well-known. We would like to see a permanent moratorium in this regard. 142.   However, we would like to hear from the proponents of the application their views and ideas about the scope and modalities of proceedings related to non-violation and situation complaints as required by Article 64.3 of the TRIPS Agreement. Only then, the Council will be in a better position to examine and consider the proposal. The concept is still an unknown territory, and unless the scope and modalities are perceived first, we cannot go any further in this discussion. 143.   As we perceive it now, if non-violation and situation complaints are made applicable to TRIPS, any issue under the sun can be brought as cases under this umbrella. Clear delimitations, therefore, need to be conceived and thoroughly examined first. We, however, reiterate our readiness to engage with any interested delegations.
22.   The Chair recalled that, at the Eleventh Ministerial Conference (MC11), Ministers had renewed their instruction to the TRIPS Council to continue its examination of the scope and modalities" for non-violation and situation complaints and to make recommendations to MC12". This was in line with the original mandate in Article 64.3 of the TRIPS Agreement, which required such recommendations to be submitted in 1999. This issue had thus been with the TRIPS Council for almost two decades.
23.   At the Council's meeting in February, there had been some signs that seemed to indicate certain delegations' readiness to engage in a constructive discussion of scope and modalities in case non-violation and situation complaints were to apply to TRIPS. This had also been confirmed during the consultations that took place the previous week. Therefore, he was interested to hear from delegations whether they had any suggestions regarding possible ways for the Council to ensure a meaningful debate that would ultimately fulfil the Ministers' instruction to examine the matter, and enable the Council to prepare the ground for the adoption of recommendations to the Ministerial Conference envisaged for next year. He was aware of the challenge, as it required delegations to reconsider their well-known and longstanding positions. He relied on delegations to come up with concrete proposals that would permit the Council to move beyond positions of principle and engage substantively in the examination of possible scope and modalities for such complaints. He invited delegations to share their ideas on any new approaches for the Council to take this issue forward.
24.   The representatives of South Africa; India; Benin, on behalf of the LDC Group; the United States; Ecuador; Bangladesh; Switzerland; Brazil; the Republic of Korea; China; Argentina; and Canada took the floor.
25.   The Council took note of the statements made and agreed to revert to the matter at its next meeting.
IP/C/M/89, IP/C/M/89/Add.1