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

H.E. Ambassador Xolelwa Mlumbi-Peter
100.   The protection of biological resources, traditional knowledge and folklore is an important developmental issue and of particular interest to many Members. In this regard, Kenya fully supports the examination of the relationship between the TRIPS Agreement and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), as the TRIPS Council was mandated by paragraph 19 of the Doha Ministerial Declaration. 101.   Kenya believes that the TRIPS Agreement and the CBD should be implemented in a manner that is mutually supportive and does not run counter to their respective objectives. We therefore consider that the TRIPS Agreement should be amended to incorporate a provision for Members to require that a patent application involving the utilization of genetic resources and/or associated traditional knowledge should disclose the source and country of origin of biological resources and associated traditional knowledge in accordance with the CBD. In addition, there should also be a requirement of evidence of prior informed consent and equitable benefit sharing under relevant national law. 102.   We believe that to develop a sound and viable technological base in developing countries and LDCs, any utilization of local genetic resources must be in a sustainable manner in order to conserve biological diversity. 103.   Finally, Kenya continues to encourage the engagement of the Director-General, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, in her mandated consultative process on the relationship between the TRIPS Agreement and the CBD. We look forward to the outcome of these consultations and encourage other Members to engage constructively in the process, considering that this issue is of high priority for many developing countries, since they are often victims of biopiracy. These dishonest practices must be combated effectively to facilitate the sharing of the benefits gained from the exploitation of such resources.
20. The Chair said that the next three agenda items concerned 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. Following past practice, she proposed that these three items be addressed together.
21. She recalled that one tool for the review under item 3 was the information provided by Members in response to a list of questions on Article 27.3(b). The "Annual Report on Notifications and other Information Flows" that had been introduced, under agenda item one, illustrated that responses to this checklist had been rather sparse recently. She was pleased to announce that, since the October 2020 meeting, the Council had received responses from the delegation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. She encouraged delegations to submit responses to this Checklist or update their previous responses, as well as notify any relevant changes in legislation. She invited the delegation of Saudi Arabia to introduce their responses.
22. The representative of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia took the floor.
23. The Chair recalled that two long-standing procedural issues under these items had also been discussed extensively on the record, at every regular meeting of the Council for many years:
a. 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
b. second, the request to invite the CBD Secretariat to brief the Council on the Nagoya Protocol to the CBD, initially proposed in October 2010.
24. Members' positions on these issues were well known and already extensively recorded in the Council's minutes. She encouraged delegations to focus on suggesting solutions, when addressing these procedural questions.
25. The representatives of South Africa; India; Chile; Brazil; China; Ecuador; Indonesia; Nigeria; Kenya; Plurinational State of Bolivia; Bangladesh; the United States of America; Japan; Canada; and Australia took the floor.
26. The Chair suggested that the Council ask that the incoming Chair should hold consultations with a view to resolving the outstanding procedural issues.
27. The Council took note of the statements made and agreed to request the incoming chair to hold consultations to resolve the outstanding procedural issues.
IP/C/M/98, IP/C/M/98/Add.1