85. The Chair recalled that, at MC 11, Ministers had agreed that the Work Programme on Electronic Commerce should continue, based on the existing mandate from 1998. They had instructed the General Council to periodically review the work on the basis of reports to be submitted by the relevant WTO bodies. The Chair of the General Council would report to the next General Council meeting in December. In the TRIPS Council, there had been no discussion on e-commerce since its meeting in June 2018. In the informal consultations in May, September and October 2019, no delegation had indicated any intention to propose e-commerce discussions in the TRIPS Council.
86. The Chair recalled the mandate under the Ministerial Decision on E-commerce and invited delegations to share any thoughts on how to pursue this mandate.
87. The representatives of Norway and South Africa took the floor.
88. The Chair said that in any update on the TRIPS Council's work on e-commerce, he would report the state of play to the General Council during its review of the Work Programme.
89. The Chair said that, since the beginning of the meeting, Mexico had requested to make a statement under Other Business on an issue that it would like to put on the agenda at the next meeting of the Council. If that was agreeable to the Council, he would offer the floor to Mexico, so that delegations could better prepare for the discussion.
90. The representative of Mexico took the floor.
91. The Chair suggested that, if Mexico was planning to add that issue to the agenda of the next TRIPS Council meeting, it should contact the Secretariat, in writing, within the applicable deadline.
92. The Chair recalled that the Council had completed discussions under all agenda items, except one. As agreed, he suspended the meeting, with the agenda item 7 on Non-violation and Situation Complaints remaining open. He would be in touch with delegations to see when it might be appropriate to reconvene the meeting in order to agree on a recommendation to the Ministerial Conference. He encouraged all delegations to use the time to engage in constructive discussions on some of the longstanding issues on the Council's agenda. He remained available for any informal consultations that delegations might find useful in the meantime.