321. Document IP/C/W/658 contains a full report on technical cooperation activities in the area of TRIPS that we undertook between 1 October 2018 and 30 September 2019. The report provides an overall thematic introduction and list each activity in the Annex. In this brief report we also provide an overview of the activities.
322. The technical cooperation activities, undertaken by the Secretariat under the aegis of TRIPS, have the objective of assisting Members and Observers to meet their developmental and other domestic policy objectives within the framework of the IP system established by the TRIPS Agreement, and to respond directly to the needs and priorities articulated by the Members concerned.
323. Activities are therefore driven by demand from developing country and least developed countries partners, as well as from governments in the process of acceding to the WTO. The activities touch on a range of areas such as innovation and industrial policy, health, regulatory aspects, competition policy and environmental protection, and how the trade and intellectual property regime can contribute to achieving concrete results in line with domestic circumstances and priority needs. These activities also have the objective of strengthening the capacity of Members to fully participate in the WTO's work on TRIPS matters.
324. A central focus remains on assisting Members and Observers to understand their rights and obligations under the TRIPS Agreement. They continue to receive tailored assistance, which includes their participation in the transparency work of this Council. It will be stepped up in line with the opportunities provided by the e-TRIPS Submission System, an online tool for WTO Members to submit notifications, review materials and reports related to the TRIPS Agreement, and the e-TRIPS Gateway, a database of the full range of TRIPS-related information managed by the Secretariat.
325. Among the more recent developments, since the entry into force of the Protocol Amending the TRIPS Agreement in January 2017, activities have increasingly focused on implementing the Protocol at the domestic level and supporting the utilization of the Special Compulsory Licensing System as an effective procurement tool to ensure access to affordable medicines in line with the addresses given in this Council.
326. In 2018, the Secretariat organized the first WTO activity dedicated to IP and knowledge flows in a digital era. The overall objectives were to provide participants with an understanding of how existing WTO rules, particularly the TRIPS Agreement, apply to the knowledge economy and to facilitate an understanding of how technological advancements have enhanced the means for crossborder knowledge flows.
327. The WTO also organized in 2018 the first joint regional workshop. An activity for Members and Observers from the Arab region. This regional workshop focused on the interlinkages between health, IP and trade.
328. Further, in early 2019, the Secretariat organized the Workshop on the Implementation of Article 66.2 of the TRIPS Agreement in which capital-based officials from LDCs and from developed country reporting Members, as well as Geneva-based delegates, participated. LDC participants discussed priority areas for technological development in LDCs and projects relevant to those areas, and reporting country developed Members presented highlights from their 2018 reports on the implementation of Article 66.2 of the TRIPS Agreement.
329. We are pleased to announce that the 8th joint Technical Symposium, organized by the WTO, the WHO and the WIPO will take place on 31 October 2019. The Symposium this year will address the importance of innovation in, and access to, cutting-edge health technologies to ensure progress towards universal health coverage and the achievement of the health-related UN Sustainable Development Goals.