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

H.E. Ambassador Dr Walter Werner
World Trade Organization
497.   Just to clarify that, as working documents of the Council, these reports, when prepared in English, are translated into the official working languages, i.e. into French and Spanish. Unfortunately, because of the length of these reports and the tight time-frame, often we receive them very close to the meeting itself. This unfortunately means that the translations are delayed. I do very much respect the concerns of Benin and other francophone delegations. It is an acknowledged difficulty, but unfortunately the translation task is a very significant one. There are two practical solutions I can mention, apart from the overall challenge we have with translations. One is to ensure that this a continuing dialogue about the content of these reports. That is what we have been trying to do through the workshops and through the follow-up questions and answers. But perhaps in a more informal setting we can discuss with delegations how to reach out more effectively, particularly with the LDC Group, so that it is not 'all or nothing:' either there is a chance to speak at that session of the Council or it is finished. We do have opportunities for continuing the dialogue which all delegations have supported. The second point is that we do hope that the use of the e-TRIPS system that we outlined yesterday, particularly the notifications submission system, the NSS, will speed up the processing of this documentation and make it easier to access it. It does not translate automatically - translation will also remain a sensitive professional task - but at least some of those delays will be reduced. That is one reason why we have worked on that system. While this is not an entirely satisfactory situation, and we certainly express regrets to francophone and hispanophone delegations who do have to wait for those translations, there are some partial solutions and we will work to enhance those in dialogue with the delegations concerned.
58.   The Chair recalled that at the meeting on 30 January 2017, when the Council took note of the entry into force of the amended TRIPS Agreement, Members had said this would also be the moment to consider in greater detail how the Special Compulsory Licensing System could be effectively used as a practical procurement tool to respond to public health needs. In addition, Members had also proposed a number of accompanying measures, including legislative advice to implement the mechanism into domestic law and capacity building activities.
59.   The annual review of the System could be usefully guided by the issues that had already been identified in the Council's 2016 report on the Annual Review (circulated in document IP/C/76), as well as those listed in Annex II to the WTO Secretariat's Annual Report on its Technical Cooperation Activities (circulated in document IP/C/W/618). He planned to consult with Members, in the coming months, on how to prepare for a meaningful review. He invited delegations to contribute to the preparation and to participate in substantive discussions.
60.   The Council took note of the information provided.
IP/C/M/89, IP/C/M/89/Add.1