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

H.E. Ambassador Xolelwa Mlumbi-Peter
Chad on behalf of LDC Group
14 DULY MOTIVATED REQUEST BY LDCS TO EXTEND THE TRANSITION PERIOD UNDER ARTICLE 66.1 OF THE TRIPS AGREEMENT FOR LEAST DEVELOPED COUNTRY MEMBERS

748.   I wish first of all to congratulate you on the way you have chaired the present sessions. 749.   I wish to make some brief opening remarks, before giving the floor to our focal point, Bangladesh, to present our communication. 750.   The LDC Group has submitted a duly motivated request, to which you referred earlier, to extend the transition period pursuant to Article 66.1 of the TRIPS Agreement, since the current transition period granted to the LDC Group, the second such period, will expire on 1 July 2021 as you yourself stated a moment ago. 751.   Furthermore, the situation of LDCs has remained unchanged, if it hasn't worsened. Our communication also addresses the situation of graduating LDC Group Members. LDCs represent the most vulnerable and weakest segment of the international trade community. Characteristics of LDCs include low per capita income, a low level of human development and structural economic barriers. 752.   Our countries still face many difficulties in reaching their development goals, even as the implementation period for the Istanbul Programme of Action for LDCs for the decade 2011-2020, adopted by the Fourth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries, is coming to an end. It is worth recalling that the COVID-19 pandemic has created more barriers for LDCs to deal with. Confinement measures and the slump in global demand have particularly impacted LDCs that are dependent on exports of finished goods. The COVID-19 pandemic will clearly have far-reaching implications for the global economy and particularly for LDCs, including those on the path to graduation. 753.   In this context, overcoming these economic, financial and administrative constraints and being given flexibility to establish a viable technological base, remain vital. This is what I wanted to say, as an opening remark and, with your permission, I wish now to let our focal point, Bangladesh, present our communication.

78. The Chair said that the agenda item had been requested by Chad, on behalf of the LDC Group; and a communication had been circulated. She recalled that the transition period for LDC Members had been extended twice: Most recently, by the TRIPS Council Decision of 11 June 2013. Regarding extensions of the transition period, the second sentence of Article 66.1 of the TRIPS Agreement provided that "The Council for TRIPS shall, upon duly motivated request by a least developed country Member, accord extensions of this period." She invited the LDC Group to introduce the request.
79. The representative of Chad, on behalf of the LDC Group took the floor.
80. The Chair invited Members to take the floor.
81. The representatives of Bangladesh; Bangladesh, on behalf of the LDC Group, Nepal; Mali; Cambodia; Angola; Afghanistan; Senegal; Jamaica, on behalf of the ACP Group; China; South Africa; Argentina; Egypt; Tanzania, on behalf of the African Group; Indonesia; Turkey; the United States of America; the European Union; Oman; India; Japan; Nigeria; the United Kingdom; Switzerland; and the World Health Organization (WHO) took the floor.
82. The Chair proposed that the LDC Group consult with the Members, that had intervened at the present meeting, to bridge the differences. She would also be available to consult with Members. Considering the time-sensitivity due to the upcoming deadline in 2021, she proposed to revert to the request at the next meeting.
83. 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