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

H.E. Ambassador Lundeg Purevsuren
United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)

362.   The UNCTAD Secretariat, through its Intellectual Property (IP) Unit, located within the Division on Investment and Enterprise, implements a work programme on the development dimensions of IP rights. The work programme is designed to respond to the mandate received from Members at the Ministerial Conference in Nairobi of July 2016, as well as to intergovernmental requests under the WIPO Development Agenda and the World Health Assembly's Resolution 61.21 on a Global Strategy and Plan of Action on Public Health, Innovation and Intellectual Property. It is partially funded by donor governments and institutions. Currently, the work programme targets:  IP rights, policy coherence and local pharmaceutical production and supply. UNCTAD was requested by its Commission on Investment, Technology and Related Financial Issues of 2005 to assess ways in which developing countries can develop their domestic productive capability in the supply of essential drugs in cooperation with pharmaceutical companies.1 In the pursuit of this mandate, UNCTAD implements a work programme on local pharmaceutical production, with a view to assisting developing countries and least developed countries (LDCs) in particular, to utilise IP rights as tools that facilitate increased access to affordable medicines, and, where feasible, to promote domestic and foreign investment to create local or regional pharmaceutical production and supply capacities. Currently, the work programme focuses on the role of local production and supply management to address vaccines and antimicrobial resistance (AMR).  IP rights, technology partnerships and regional economic integration. UNCTAD implements a programme on IP and technology partnerships, with the financial support from BMZ. The programme focuses on IP rights and regional economic integration. It also includes capacity building on technology transactions including voluntary IP licensing and research and development (R&D) cooperation for industrial development;  IP rights for participation in the digital economy and e-commerce. In the context of a broader work programme on e-commerce, UNCTAD addresses the interface between IP rights and digital economy. 363.   In implementing its work programme, UNCTAD conducts research and policy analysis, facilitates consensus-building and responds to requests for technical assistance for successfully integrating developing countries into the world economy. Our submission to the Council for TRIPS provides an overview of UNCTAD's IP and development-related activities from 1 November 2018 to 20 September 2019. For more information on UNCTAD's activities related to IP, please visit the website as indicated in our submission. In general terms, UNCTAD works in the following areas. Research and policy analysis 364.   UNCTAD undertakes research and analysis and provides advisory services for developing countries on trade and development aspects of IP rights. During the reporting period, UNCTAD:  Worked together with United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and African Union Commission (AUC) for the preparation of the report on "Assessing Regional Integration in Africa (ARIA IX): Next Steps for the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)". The report addresses investment, intellectual property, competition and e-commerce issues, among others. The report underscores the opportunity presented by the AfCFTA to a balanced IP rights system that responds to the aspirations contained in the continental programmes, including Agenda 2063 of the African Union. It recommends a step by step approach on cooperation in the field of IP rights, beginning with the issues critical for regional trade and value chain integration;  UNCTAD also published an analysis of intellectual property rights policies in the digital economy, as part of UNCTAD's Digital Economy report, 2019. Consensus-building 365.   Consensus-building among stakeholders on IP, trade and development is an important element of the programme's work. UNCTAD's substantive contributions on the analysis of issues related to development and IP have enabled it to become an important forum, through its intergovernmental machinery, where governments, academia, civil society and the private sector can meet to exchange ideas. During the 2019 World Health Assembly, UNCTAD signed an "Interagency Statement on Promoting Local Production of Medicines and Other Health Technologies" together with the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund). Technical cooperation 366.   On a request basis, UNCTAD conducts technical cooperation activities with developing countries in the integrated areas of investment, trade and IP rights. UNCTAD delivers its technical cooperation through:  Capacity building programmes for beneficiary countries and regions under donor funded projects on IP rights and policy coherence for local pharmaceutical production and access to medicines, technology partnerships and regional economic integration, as well as IP rights for participation in the digital economy and e-commerce;  Advisory reports on the development dimensions of intellectual property (DDIP). The objective of a published DDIP report is to provide advice on developing countries' and LDCs' policy, legal and institutional framework for IP rights, particularly as it relates to important development objectives such as innovation, technology, investment, competition, education and health. Developing countries specify the key development objectives they wish to examine. A DDIP report will take into consideration the socio-economic situation of the requesting country, the bilateral, regional and international commitments the target countries have entered into and the flexibilities available to them. Based on this analysis, the reports incorporate medium to long-term recommendations on how governments and other stakeholders could make these frameworks more coherent and transparent, with a view to making IP rights contribute to a country's sustainable economic and human development goals and respond to emerging global opportunities; and  Finally, we also provide technical cooperation through ad hoc studies on IP and development issues as requested by developing countries. Cooperation with other providers of IP-related technical assistance. 367.   UNCTAD partners with major technical assistance providers on IP rights and development. During the reporting period, UNCTAD inter alia partnered with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), WHO, WIPO, and the WTO. Staff of UNCTAD's IP Unit frequently participate in capacity-building workshops on IP and development issues organized by other providers of IP-related technical assistance. For instance, UNCTAD was invited by WIPO and WTO to contribute to the 2019 WIPO-WTO Advanced Course on IP for government officials in March 2019.

The Council took note of the statements made and agreed to revert to the matter at its next meeting.
53.   The Chair recalled that the Council had agreed, at its meeting in June 2019, to hold the annual review of technical cooperation at the present meeting. Developed-country Members had been requested to update information on their technical and financial cooperation activities relevant to the implementation of the TRIPS Agreement. Other Members, who had also provided technical cooperation, were encouraged to share information on these activities. The Secretariat had issued an airgram on 21 June 2019 reminding developed-country Members of this request. Intergovernmental organizations, observers to the Council, and the WTO Secretariat had also been invited to provide information.
54.   The Council had received information from the following developed-country Members: Switzerland, Japan, the United States of America, Norway, Australia, and Canada. Their reports were being circulated in document IP/C/W/655 and addenda. The Council had also received an Advance Working Copy of the report from the European Union and some of its member States. It had been made available as a room document RD/IP/35, on documents online, and would also be circulated as an addendum to document IP/C/W/655 once finalized. The following intergovernmental organizations had also submitted updated information: the GCC, WHO, WCO, UNCTAD, ARIPO and WIPO. Their reports had been being circulated in document IP/C/W/654 and addenda. Updated information on the WTO Secretariat's own technical cooperation activities in the TRIPS area was available in document IP/C/W/658. He invited developed-country Members to introduce their reports on technical cooperation activities.
55.   The representatives of Canada; Japan; the European Union; the United States of America; Norway; Australia; Benin, on behalf of West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU); and Bangladesh took the floor.
56.   The Chair invited the WTO Secretariat to inform the Council of its recent technical cooperation activities.
57.   The representative of the WTO Secretariat took the floor.
58.   The Chair invited the representatives of intergovernmental organizations to introduce their reports.
59.   The representatives of the Secretariats of the WHO, GCC, WIPO, ARIPO, UNCTAD, and the WCO took the floor.
60.   The Chair noted that most of the valuable information provided by Members and IGO observers had been received only very recently; and, that most of it was, so far, available only in its original language. He suggested that Members have an opportunity, at the next meeting of the Council, to make further comments on the information submitted for the meeting.
61.   The Council took note of the statements made and agreed to revert to the matter at its next meeting.
IP/C/M/93, IP/C/M/93/Add.1

1 See at http://www.unctad.org/en/docs/c2l22_en.pdf (paragraph 9 (c) of the Agreed Recommendations).