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

H.E. Ambassador Lundeg Purevsuren
Bolivia, Plurinational State of
82.   The delegation of Bolivia would like to state that our position on these agenda items remains unchanged. We nevertheless consider it fitting to highlight some key points regarding this position. Bolivia contends that natural processes and environmental functions cannot be commercialized, as this would, inter alia, raise concerns for many peoples and cultures of the world who, as in our case, attach importance to practices and principles that enable them to live well and in harmony and balance with Mother Earth. We therefore reiterate our position against the patenting of all life forms, 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. 83.   Patenting of life forms promotes an imbalance in the current intellectual property system. The TRIPS Agreement, while establishing monopoly rights for 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 rights of sovereign States. Nor does it call for conformity with the provisions of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), including those relating to prior informed consent and benefit sharing. 84.   In that same vein, Bolivia believes that the non-patentability of traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions that belong to the indigenous peoples is crucial to achieving full recognition of their rights. 85.   We therefore once again wish to point out that Bolivia is the centre of origin of genetic diversity for many species that must be protected. We believe that such protection must be based on a nonmarket approach that emphasizes the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. 86.   In our view, protection of biodiversity must progress in a holistic, and not isolated, manner. Bolivia therefore supports any and all initiatives and efforts aimed at finding a balance between the CBD and the TRIPS in developing an effective international framework. 87.   Bolivia cautions that the absence of a balanced and effective framework that protects genetic resources, traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions has enabled the proliferation of illicit practices such as misappropriation and biopiracy, leaving developing countries in particular without appropriate mechanisms to provide adequate protection. It is therefore vital to continue discussions on this topic in order to achieve effective outcomes.
The Council took note of the statements made and agreed to revert to the matters at its next meeting.
14.   The Chair proposed that, following past practice, agenda items 3, 4 and 5 be addressed together. He noted that, Ukraine had recently submitted its responses to the List of Questions on Article 27.3(b), which had been circulated in document IP/C/W/125/Add.26. He invited Ukraine to introduce its submission.
15.   The representative of Ukraine took the floor.
16.   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.
17.   He noted that two longstanding procedural issues under these items had 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.
18.   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 resolve them.
19.   The representatives of South Africa; Bangladesh; India; Ecuador; Indonesia; the Plurinational State of Bolivia; Zimbabwe; Brazil; Nigeria; Australia; Thailand; Chile; China; Canada; Japan; Switzerland; and the United States of America took the floor.
20.   The Council took note of the statements made and agreed to revert to the matters at its next meeting.
IP/C/M/93, IP/C/M/93/Add.1