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

H.E. Ambassador Xolelwa Mlumbi-Peter (South Africa)
801.   South Africa would like thank Chad and Bangladesh for their introductory statements and Bangladesh for presenting the request by the LDC Group to extend the transition period under Article 66.1 of the TRIPS Agreement for LDC Members. We also support the intervention made by the ACP Group. 802.   South Africa unequivocally supports the request by the LDC Group under Article 66.1 of the TRIPS Agreement, for as long as they remain LDCs, and for an additional period of 12 years following their official graduation from the LDC category as determined by the UN General Assembly. TRIPS Article 66.1 recognizes LDCs' special needs and requirements, the economic, financial and administrative constraints faced by LDCs, and their need for flexibility to create a sound and viable technological base. 803.   We note the impact of COVID-19 on the achievement of the SDG goals, as pointed out by the LDCs in their submission and would agree that the COVID-19 pandemic will adversely impact the economies of all LDCs, including those LDCs that are on the verge of graduation, due to decline in exports, fall in commodity prices, supply chain disruptions and the bleak prospect of an impending balance of payments crisis. LDCs can only achieve their productive capacities and thereby establish a viable technological base if this extension is granted. 804.   The upgrading and development of a viable technological base takes time and should not be subject to specific time limits. South Africa is in support of the request that establishes the extension for as long as a country remains an LDC and that an LDC Member may continue to benefit from the flexibilities for an additional 12 years following graduation.
The Council took note of the statements made and agreed to revert to the matter at its next meeting.
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