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

H.E. Ambassador Lundeg Purevsuren

733.   First, I like to admit that it is good to be back in the TRIPS Council after 19 years absence. 734.   Many of the current discussions circle around the same issues as then. That shows that these issues are of great importance to the Membership. 735.   But if it is one single issue that has had a major role in turning my hair grey in those 19 years, it is the Council’s lack of addressing the obligation to discuss electronic commerce given to the TRIPS Council by numerous and consecutive Ministerial Conferences. It's been a while since the work programme has been on the agenda for the Council and the mandatory reporting to the General Council has reflected this. 736.   The world has changed. The basic principles are still the cornerstones but technological developments have changed the way IPRs are used, misused, shared, stolen and utilized. When consumers buy the right to read an e-book on a tablet it is a far more limited right than buying a book, and the right to stream audio-visual content for listening and viewing normally does not include the right to resell or to distribute that content to others via electronic networks. 737.   Norway will therefore thank you for putting this important issue on the agenda for the meeting. 738.   Norway looks forward to this discussion and is ready to participate actively in discussions about how the development of the digitalized society affects trade-related intellectual property rights and the pivotal role of IPR in such a society.

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.
IP/C/M/93, IP/C/M/93/Add.1