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

H.E. Ambassador Xolelwa Mlumbi-Peter
European Union
391.   The European Union and its Members take their commitment under TRIPS Article 66.2 very seriously and annually provide a detailed update on their respective technology transfer programmes. The EU and its Members provided proof year after year of having promptly and attentively reacted to natural, social, health, climate and economic changes by implementing projects specifically tailored to the current needs of LDCs and their regional organisations. 392.   On 7 October 2020, the EU submitted its annual report on technology transfer programmes carried out between July 2019 and July 2020 by the European Union and EU Members in favour of least developed country Members. Our programmes can be found in the e-TRIPS Portal. 393.   Beyond the EU-financed programmes, in 2020 Austria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland and Germany sent reports to the European Commission on technology transfer programmes provided to LDCs. The report submitted by the EU is not an exhaustive list of all the programmes provided but gives only examples of the technology transfer programmes. The programmes cover a wide range of sectors, including public health, agriculture, telecommunication, energy and water sanitary systems. 394.   Taking into account the format of this meeting, on the issue of conditions for successful technology transfer, including the importance of absorptive capacity of LDCs, we would like to refer to our interventions on this topic in previous meetings. 395.   We will be ready to present our report more in detail at the workshop organised in early 2021 and we stand ready to assist the beneficiary least developed country Members should they have any questions concerning the programmes included in our report. 396.   As for the new proposed template from the LDC Group, the EU is open to engage constructively in the discussion on the use of the new template and the consequent adaptation of the e-TRIPS Portal where it helps promote objectives such as accessibility and searchability.
54. The Chair recalled that, under a Council decision of February 2003, developed country Members were to submit annual reports on actions taken or planned in pursuance of their commitments under Article 66.2 of the TRIPS Agreement. They were to provide new detailed reports every third year and updates in the intervening years.
55. In July 2020, the Council had requested developed country Members to submit the second set of updates to the sixth set of new reports in time for the present meeting, and the Secretariat had also circulated a reminder.
56. The LDC Group had also submitted a proposal of a template for the submission of reports on commitments of developed countries under Article 66.2. In her consultations in September 2020, the LDC Group had indicated that they were reaching out to developed countries in this regard.
57. The Council had received updated reports from the United States, Switzerland, Australia, Japan, and the United Kingdom. Since the circulation of the revised agenda, the Council had received further reports from the European Union and Canada. The documents were being circulated under the new dedicated document series with the symbol IP/C/R/TTI/[Member]/1 – where "R" stood for "Reports" and "TTI" stood for "Technology Transfer Incentives".
58. Paragraph 2 of the Council's Decision on the Implementation of Article 66.2 explained that the annual review should provide Members with an opportunity to pose questions in relation to the information submitted and request additional information; discuss the effectiveness of the incentives provided in promoting and encouraging technology transfer to least developed country Members in order to enable them to create a sound and viable technological base; and consider any points relating to the operation of the reporting procedure established by the Decision.
59. Some of the information by developed country Members had been received only very recently, and most of it was, so far, available only in its original language. She intended to give Members an opportunity to make further comments at the next meeting of the Council to give Members a chance to study the recently circulated information and any additional information subsequently submitted.
60. The Secretariat was planning to hold the Article 66.2 Workshop in early 2020. Considering the current situation, the dates had not yet been fixed and would be announced as soon as they are finalized. This would give LDC Members enough time to consider the information provided by developed country Members in their reports and to ensure that these reports are available in the official languages of the WTO. It would also be an opportunity to discuss the proposal of the template for reporting on commitments, presented by the LDC Group. The Workshop would comprise two days of sessions, and a reporting and review segment within the first TRIPS Council meeting of 2021. She invited developed country Members to introduce their reports.
61. The representatives of the United Kingdom; Australia; South Africa; Japan; Switzerland; Bangladesh; Chad, on behalf of the LDC Group; Canada; Indonesia; the United States of America; Australia; and the European Union took the floor.
62. The Chair proposed that Members be given an opportunity to continue considering the information provided at the next meeting.
63. The Council took note of the statements made and agreed to revert to the matter at its next meeting.
IP/C/M/96, IP/C/M/96/Add.1