211. As described to this Council over the years of the development of the e-TRIPS platform, its function is to facilitate the work of delegations in using the established transparency processes. It therefore does not in itself prescribe or define any notification requirements or reporting requirements, as these are developed by Members in this Council. In establishing the e-TRIPS platform, we simply followed the existing practice of Members and the decisions of this body. That said, one of the observations to emerge from the workshop yesterday was an interest on the part of participants – both reporting and receiving Members - to improve the flow of information and to do what we can to make use of this platform to facilitate the sharing of information, and the matching of areas of need and priority on the part of LDCs and the capability of programmes in reporting countries to fulfil those needs.
212. At the same time, we mentioned earlier today that the e-TRIPS platform is undergoing its phase 2 development, which is exactly about improving the user interface for the benefit of Members wishing to access and make use of this material. Therefore, these two lines of interest are related – first, stemming from the workshop, the interest in improving flow of information about Article 66.2 implementation, and, second, the overall effort to build a more useful, more user-friendly interface for the use of the material through the e-TRIPS platform generally. It seems these two aspects converge and therefore we take it that we have a responsibility as a Secretariat to consult actively with interested Members to look at the functionality and the operation of the system both generally - the development of the e-TRIPS platform as a means of consulting all TRIPS-related information – and specifically following up the workshop in the area of Article 66.2. In the period from the present day, leading up to the final meeting of the Council this year, we would propose, in both cases, open-ended consultations with Members - on the development of the e-TRIPS platform overall and, specifically, on the 66.2 element which was a particular focus of yesterday's workshop.
213. To conclude, in developing the platform, we certainly have no role in defining or determining the reporting practices or requirements of Members that the function of the Council as such. We have simply followed existing practice and the directions of this Council and obviously that will continue to be the case. The consultations I have mentioned do not venture into that domain, but rather work on ways of creating a digital platform that is more responsive in a practical sense to the needs of delegations. I hope that makes sense. We do find it very valuable to sit down with Members in a practical spirit, and to map out the system's evolution in that manner. We will certainly be reaching out to Members with that distinction in mind in coming months.