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

H.E. Ambassador Xolelwa Mlumbi-Peter
Bolivia, Plurinational State of
4; 5; 6 REVIEW OF THE PROVISIONS OF ARTICLE 27.3(B); RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE TRIPS AGREEMENT AND THE CONVENTION ON BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY; PROTECTION OF TRADITIONAL KNOWLEDGE AND FOLKLORE
104.   While Bolivia's position on these agenda items remains unchanged, we consider that it is important to reiterate several points that continue to generate debate. 105.   Bolivia contends that natural processes and environmental functions cannot be commercialized, and therefore all forms of life in their natural state or one of the components thereof in isolation, including plants and animals and parts thereof, gene sequences and microorganisms, as specified in Article 27(3)(b), must be excluded from patentability. 106.   Bolivia considers that this prohibition is closely linked with the Convention on Biological Diversity, and in this regard, it is essential to ensure that the intellectual property system is compatible with this Convention. For this reason, it is necessary to supplement the provisions of the TRIPS Agreement. Achieving this balance between both instruments will help to prevent biopiracy and misappropriation of genetic resources and traditional knowledge, and will provide developing countries with appropriate mechanisms to ensure adequate comprehensive protection. 107.   Lastly, it is important to update the TRIPS Agreement so as to include these aspects, regardless of the fact that negotiations on the matter are being conducted at the World Intellectual Property Organization.
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