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

H.E. Ambassador Xolelwa Mlumbi-Peter (South Africa)
Tanzania on behalf of African Group

141.   I deliver this statement on behalf of the African Group as an intervention in respect to agenda items 4, 5, and 6. 142.   We would like to thank WIPO for the briefing they have provided and our commands on the progress being made in WIPO as far as IGC is concerned. 143.   Like in our previous statements, we would like to reiterate the following: 144.   The TRIPS Agreement needs to incorporate provisions that take into account the protection of genetic resources and tradition knowledge and folklore as provided by Article 27.3 (b). The reviewed Agreement should stipulate obligations for Members to prohibit misappropriation of genetic resources and traditional knowledge. 145.   The original owners or custodian of genetic resources and traditional knowledge should equitably acquire benefits from right holders. 146.   The TRIPS Council should cooperate with other relevant institutions particularly WIPO and CBD Secretariat and get better insights to advance this work in the WTO on this agenda item. 147.   In order to resume discussions on these issues, we would like to request the Secretariat to update the Council in the next meeting about the proposals and the work previously done on these agenda.

The Council took note of the statements made and agreed to revert to these issues at the next meeting.
19. The Chair recalled that the next three agenda items concerning the Review of the Provisions of Article 27.3(b), the Relationship between the TRIPS Agreement and the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Protection of Traditional Knowledge and Folklore had been traditionally addressed together. She had asked Members, at her consultations in September 2020, whether the Council should take these items individually; and no clear preference had been detected in this regard. She suggested that the Council maintain the traditional practice; and encouraged delegations to identify the specific agenda item to which they would associate their intervention.
20. At the July 2020 meeting, the delegation of Zimbabwe had expressed interest in inviting the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to brief the Council on its recently updated report "Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Traditional Cultural Expressions". After her consultations with delegations in September 2020, there seemed to be no objection. Since then, she had been in touch with WIPO and their representatives were willing to brief the Council.
21. She noted that, with respect to the sequence of discussion, the traditional practice had been that Members take the floor first, and observers afterwards. Considering that the Council had a full agenda and the need to be efficient with time, she proposed to offer the floor to WIPO first so that delegations could refer to the briefing in their subsequent interventions, where Members could also address the long-standing procedural issues. She invited WIPO to brief Members.
22. The representatives of WIPO took the floor.
23. The Chair thanked the WIPO Secretariat for the comprehensive briefing. She opened the floor for discussion, including long-standing procedural issues:
24. The suggestion for the Secretariat to update the three factual notes on the Council's discussions on the TRIPS and CBD and related items; these notes were initially prepared in 2002 and last updated in 2006; and
25. The request to invite the CBD Secretariat to brief the Council on the Nagoya Protocol to the CBD, initially proposed in October 2010.
26. She recalled that Members' positions on these issues were well known and extensively recorded in the Council minutes. In addressing these procedural questions, she encouraged delegations to focus on suggestions how to resolve them.
27. The representatives of South Africa; Chile; Tanzania, on behalf of the African Group; Brazil; Bangladesh; Nigeria; Thailand; India; China; Indonesia; Chinese Taipei; the United States of America; Japan; Canada; Ecuador; and Australia took the floor.
28. The Chair recalled that one tool for the review under agenda item 4 was the information provided by Members in response to a list of questions on Article 27.3(b). In 2019, the Council had received two sets of responses; from Ukraine and Mexico. These had been the first responses in 15 years. There had been dynamic and significant developments in this area in many Members. Transparency was of considerable mutual benefit to all Members; both in terms of initial submissions and updates to earlier submissions, many of which were already two decades old. She encouraged delegations to submit responses to this Checklist or update their previous responses; as well as notify any relevant changes in legislation.
29. The Council took note of the statements made and agreed to revert to these issues at the next meeting.
IP/C/M/96, IP/C/M/96/Add.1