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

H.E. Ambassador Xolelwa Mlumbi-Peter (South Africa)
World Trade Organization
154.   Thank you, Chair for the opportunity to report to the Council on the Workshop on the Implementation of Article 66.2 of the TRIPS Agreement. 155.   First, I would like to express our sincere thanks to you, Amb MLUMBI-PETER, Ambassador Makaila of Chad, and Ambassador Rahman of Bangladesh for your most valuable support and continuing engagement through making opening and closing remarks for the workshop. 156.   Secondly, I want to express our deep appreciation to WTO Members, including least developed countries and developed country Members for your active and full engagement during this workshop. The workshop was attended by 21 capital-based experts from 16 LDCs, and approximately sixty experts from developed country Members, international organizations, and private sector were also present at the Workshop. Among its participants 12 experts from eight developed country Members made presentations which provided updated and complimentary information to the 25 reports submitted by developed country Members from 2018 to 2020. We were delighted at the number, diversity and range of those delegates and officials who took part in the Workshop. A vital aspect of the preparation and delivery of the Workshops in this series has been the active engagement, precious encouragement, and direct guidance on the parts of the LDC Group and developed country Members, which gave the Workshop its practical value and substantive content. We record our warm appreciation for this support and guidance from our Members. 157.   Since we organised this workshop in 2008, the Secretariat has made continuous efforts to improve the value and impact of this annual dialogue between LDCs and developed country Members. During the preparation of the Workshop, the guidance from LDCs and the coordination through the LDC Group have played a particularly valuable role in directing the Secretariat's work, which enabled this exercise to respond all the more closely to the evolving current needs and priorities identified by the LDCs. I would like to highlight four main improvements the Secretariat has made to address those needs and priorities in the 2021 Workshop. 158.   First, we improved the structure and format of the Workshop to enhance the depth and breadth of practical conversations and to assist with the practical understanding of detailed and diverse information covered by this subject. For the first time, the Workshop was devoted to four specific fields of technology transfer, which are critical for sustainable development and yet are disseminated in different ways, namely the fields of health, agriculture, environment, and information and communication technology. 159.   Secondly, we developed survey questionnaires on LDC needs and priorities for technology transfer with a view to assisting Members in their better understanding of current areas of priority for technological development in LDCs, projects that are relevant to these areas of technology transfer, and LDCs' experience with projects reported under Article 66.2. We received responses from 14 LDCs which identified agriculture, health, environment, and ICT sectors, among others, as priority technology sectors. The detailed survey result was presented to Members in the Workshop. 160.   Thirdly, we prepared a summary on the technology transfer programmes reported by nine developed country Members from 2018 to 2020 with a focus on the afore mentioned four fields of technologies. The summary covered 604 technology transfer programmes, which fall in 22 technology categories. It provided detailed information on the main providing Members, the main LDC beneficiaries, and also geographical distribution of these 604 programmes. The detailed summary was also introduced to the Members in the workshop. This summary does not substitute for nor seek to interpret the reports received, but rather demonstrates how the information contained in these reports can be harvested and presented in an accessible way to support informal dialogue between LDCs and developed country Members. 161.   Fourthly, while further strengthening our partnership with WIPO, the UN Technology Bank for LDCs, and the WTO Trade and Environment Division and Agriculture and Commodities Division, for the first time, the Secretariat reached out to other international partners, in particular WHO, ITU and UNCTAD, and invited them to report on their current work and concrete technology transfer projects in the areas of health and ICT. The active participation of these partners significantly enriched the 2021 programme. We are pleased to record our gratitude to them, alongside that to our valued traditional partners in this work. 162.   I want to reiterate that these improvements were made under the guidance of LDCs and with support of developed country Members. These improvements were driven by the desire to provide high quality service to Members, to facilitate efficient communication between LDCs and developed country Members, and to promote the effective implementation of TRIPS Article 66.2. And these improvements aim to serve one common goal, that is, to enable LDCs to create a sound and variable technological base, which is essential to LDCs in addressing current and future challenges. 163.   As advised to the Council at its previous meeting, the Workshop comprises a workshop segment and a reporting and review segment within the formal meeting of the TRIPS Council. Therefore, as you have mentioned, we have arranged the attendance of capital based LDC participants at the present TRIPS Council meeting on their national delegations. 164.   We do hope that workshop participants will make full use of the opportunity to draw on the insights and information shared during this workshop and to engage fully in the TRIPS Council's discussion. In the meantime, we look forward to Members' further guidance arising from the Council's discussion. I conclude by thanking them for their indispensable role in advancing our work in this area.
The Council took note of the statements made.
42. The Chair recalled that, at the Council's meeting in October 2000, the Eighteenth Annual Review under Paragraph 2 of the Decision on the Implementation of Article 66.2 of the TRIPS Agreement had been on the agenda. At that meeting, delegations had briefly presented the updated reports submitted by developed country Members under Article 66.2. Since that meeting, the Council had received a further submission of an updated report from the delegation of New Zealand. At that meeting, the Council agreed that it would revert to the item at this meeting to permit continued consideration of the submitted material.
43. In July 2020, the LDC Group had circulated a submission entitled "Proposed New Template for Annual Reporting under Article 66.2 of the Agreement on Trade-related Intellectual Property Rights".
44. In order to give LDCs more time to absorb the information provided by developed countries in their reports, and to ensure that these reports were available in the official languages of the WTO, the Secretariat had organized a Workshop on the Implementation of the Article 66.2 of the TRIPS Agreement. Due to the sanitary situation, the Workshop had been held in virtual format on 2, 4 and 5 March 2021. Some of the capital-based delegates who participated in the Workshop would take part in the discussions under this agenda item. She invited the Secretariat to report on the Workshop.
45. A representative of the Secretariat took the floor.
46. The representatives of the United States of America; Australia, the United Kingdom; Switzerland; Canada; Japan; the European Union; Norway; China; Bangladesh, on behalf of the LDC Group; and Mozambique took the floor.
47. The Council took note of the statements made.
IP/C/M/98, IP/C/M/98/Add.1