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

H.E. Ambassador Xolelwa Mlumbi-Peter (South Africa)
World Health Organization (WHO)

473.   The World Health Organization (WHO) takes this opportunity to highlight to the WTO Council for TRIPS some technical cooperation activities that took place since our last report to the Council. 474.   A recent major development that may be of interest today, in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is the Solidarity Call to Action and the establishment of the WHO COVID-19 Technology Access Pool (C-TAP). We know that no country is safe from COVID-19 until every country is safe. 475.   To this effect, the Solidarity Call to Action urges the global community to voluntarily commit to undertaking urgently needed actions to advance the pooling of knowledge, intellectual property and data for key COVID-19 health-related technologies. 476.   Specific actions are outlined for governments, researchers, funders, holders of knowledge, intellectual property or data to existing or new therapeutics, diagnostics and vaccines, to make voluntary commitments to facilitate their use in research, development, and manufacturing that would permit effective technology transfer and early access to key technologies for the detection, prevention, treatment and response of COVID-19. 477.   C-TAP is as a complementary tool to other initiatives, such as the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-A) which is a ground-breaking global collaboration to accelerate development, production, and equitable access to COVID-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines. 478.   The Seventy-third World Health Assembly called to work collaboratively at all levels to develop, test, and scale-up production of safe, effective, quality, affordable diagnostics, therapeutics, medicines and vaccines for the COVID-19 response, including, existing mechanisms for voluntary pooling and licensing of patents to facilitate timely, equitable and affordable access to them. 479.   WHO reaffirms its commitment to support Countries through our technical cooperation activities derived from the Global Strategy and Plan of Action on Public Health, Innovation and Intellectual Property (GSPA-PHI). WHO collaborates closely with WTO and other relevant international organizations to provide technical assistance on topics related to the interface between public health, innovation, intellectual property and trade, including the use of TRIPS flexibilities for public health. 480.   In relation to the second edition of the Trilateral Study on Promoting Access to Medical Technologies and Innovation, we would like to draw your attention to the COVID-19 insert which provides a factual overview of measures taken to address the ongoing pandemic. This section includes references to important initiatives that both developing and developed country Members and International Organizations are undertaking in relation to intellectual property laws and policies to promote innovation and access to health. 481.   More ample information on WHO's technical cooperation activities in relation to IP and health can be found in document IP/C/R/TC/WHO/1. We would be glad to answer any questions delegations may have regarding these activities.

The Council took note of the statements made and agreed to revert to the matter at its next meeting.
64. The Chair recalled that, at its July 2020 meeting, the Council had agreed to hold the annual review of technical cooperation at its next meeting. Thus, developed country Members had been requested to update information on their technical and financial cooperation activities relevant to the implementation of the TRIPS Agreement. Other Members, which also provided technical cooperation were encouraged to share information on their activities. The Secretariat had issued a reminder. Intergovernmental organizations, observers to the Council and the WTO Secretariat had also been invited to provide information.
65. The Council had received information from: Japan, Switzerland, Australia, United States, the United Kingdom, and Norway. Since the circulation of the revised agenda, the Council had received further information from the European Union. These reports were being circulated under the new dedicated document series with the symbol IP/C/R/TC/[Member]/1 – where "R" stands for "Reports" and "TC" stands for "Technical Cooperation". The following intergovernmental organizations (IGOs) had also submitted updated information: United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), World Health Organization (WHO), World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC). Their reports were being circulated in the same document series IP/C/R/TC/[IGO observer]/1. Information on the WTO Secretariat's own technical cooperation activities in the TRIPS area could be found in document . She invited Members to introduce their reports.
66. The representatives of the United States of America; the United Kingdom; Japan; Australia; Canada; the European Union; Bangladesh; Switzerland; Brazil; Chad, on behalf of the LDC Group; Mali; and South Africa took the floor.
67. The Chair invited the WTO Secretariat to present its report on technical cooperation activities.
68. The representative of the Secretariat took the floor.
69. The Chair invited the representatives of IGO observers to present their reports on technical cooperation activities.
70. The representatives of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC); World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO); World Health Organization (WHO); and the United National Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) took the floor.
71. The Chair invited Members to comment.
72. The representatives of Sri Lanka; Chad, on behalf of the LDC Group; and India took the floor.
73. The Chair thanked Members and IGO observers for the valuable information. As some information had been recently submitted and was available only in its original language, she would provide Members an opportunity to make further comments, at the next meeting.
74. 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