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

H.E. Ambassador Dagfinn Sørli (Norway)
European Union
128.   The European Union and its member States take their commitment under TRIPS Article 66.2 very seriously and annually provide a detailed update on their respective technology transfer programmes. The EU and its Member States provided proof year after year of having promptly and attentively reacted to natural, social, health, climate and economic changes by implementing projects specifically tailored to the current needs of LDCs and their regional organisations. 129.   On 4 October 2021, the EU submitted its annual report on technical and financial cooperation programmes carried out between July 2020 and July 2021 by the EU and EU Member States in favour of developing and least developed countries, with the objective to facilitate the implementation of the TRIPS Agreement. Our programmes can be found in the e-TRIPS Portal. 130.   Beyond the EU-financed programmes, this year Austria, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Spain and Sweden sent reports to the European Commission on technology transfer programmes provided to LDCs. The report submitted by the Commission is not an exhaustive list of all the programmes provided but gives only examples of the technology transfer programmes. 131.   Taking account of the format of this meeting, on the issue of conditions for successful technology transfer, including the importance of absorptive capacity of LDCs, we would like to refer to our interventions on this topic in previous meetings. This time we would like to focus on some examples of the EU's and its member States' technology transfer programmes, mostly from the areas of the fight against climate change and biotechnology and biodiversity. Climate change DAFNE - Use of a Decision-Analytic Framework to explore the water-energy-food NExus in complex and trans-boundary water resources systems of fast-growing developing countries- Mozambique & Zambia 132.   Global trends in population growth and rising economic prosperity would increase the demand for energy, food and water, with more severe impact in fast-growing economies, such as in several African countries. This creates constraints on water, energy, and food (WEF) and could hamper economic development, lead to social and geopolitical tensions, and cause lasting environmental damage. 133.   DAFNE project advocates an integrated and adaptive water resources planning and management approach and leads to a better understanding of the water-energy-food (WEF) nexus. DAFNE generates and explores alternative planning and management solutions based on the cooperation of public and private stakeholders. The DAFNE approach is demonstrated by analysing two cross-boundary case studies, the Zambezi and the Omo river basins. This is expected to foster both profitable and equitable use of resources without exceeding environmental limits or creating societal and/or stakeholder conflicts. The project also supported the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. MonoCLE: Multiscale Observation Networks for Optical monitoring of Coastal waters, Lakes and Estuarie 134.   MONOCLE is an environmentally friendly and sustainable technology programme to Tanzania. MONOCLE innovates and develops sensor, platform, and data handling technologies to increase coverage and lower the cost of in situ sensors in inland and coastal water bodies. 135.   The research: a. would reduce uncertainties in Earth Observation (EO); and b. would deploy new and improved sensors on autonomous platforms (buoys, ships, drones). 136.   The project would provide information necessary to ensure WEF security, to cope with the scarcity of natural resources, to develop mitigation and adaptation solutions to climate change, and to make communities more resilient to natural hazards. Germany Climate protection through forest conservation in Lao People's Democratic Republic 137.   The objective of the programme is to reduce greenhouse gases. The Lao emissions reduction programme is implemented by improved forest governance and sustainable management of the forest landscape. The requirements for results-based REDD+-payments are fulfilled, deforestationfree production systems and supply chains are established and management plans for a sustainable forest management and protection are implemented. Support to transboundary water cooperation in the Nile Basinin favour of Burundi; Democratic Republic of the Congo; Egypt; Kenya; Rwanda; Tanzania; Uganda. 138.   The capacity of the Nile Basin Initiative to build consensus amongst riparian states on the sustainable and cooperative management and development of the basin's water resources is enhanced. The objective is to contribute to a sustainable and fair use of the shared water resource Nile through coordinated water resource management and infrastructure development. Biotechnology and Biodiversity TRIATLAS - Tropical and South Atlantic climate-based marine ecosystem predictions for sustainable management 139.   Sustainable management of human activities affecting Atlantic marine ecosystems is critical to maintain its health and to support the blue economy of the bordering countries. TRIATLAS enhances capacity in marine ecosystems, oceanography, and climate research in countries bordering the South and Tropical Atlantic Ocean: Angola; Benin; Brazil; Cabo Verde; Ivory Coast; Namibia; Senegal and South Africa. 140.   This programme contributes to this objective by delivering knowledge of the current state and future changes of the Atlantic marine ecosystems and bringing together an interdisciplinary team of marine ecologists, physical oceanographers, climate researchers, and social scientists from 34 different institutions in Europe, Africa, and South America, together with multi-sectoral and regional stakeholders. TRIATLAS develops the first predictions of the marine ecosystem for the next 40 years for the whole Atlantic. Spain Building links between Europe and Africa in personalised medicine 141.   The EU-Africa PerMed project has the final objective of integrating African countries into ICPerMed activities as a means to contribute to the implementation of Personalised Medicine (PM) in the global context, fostering joint PM projects and programmes between Europe and Africa. Germany BioInnovation Africa - Equitable Benefit-sharing for the Conservation of Biodiversity in Cameroon; Madagascar; Namibia; and South Africa 142.   European-African cooperation are expanded for biodiversity-based innovations and products with benefit-sharing towards biodiversity conservation. The objective is to strengthen fair and biodiversity-preserving trade relations between Africa and Europe and thus helping to reduce growing inequalities and massive environmental damage.
60. The Chair turned to the Council's 19th annual review of developed country Members' reports on their implementation of Article 66.2 of the TRIPS Agreement. Under a Council decision of February 2003, developed country Members are to submit annual reports on actions taken or planned in pursuance of their commitments under Article 66.2 of the TRIPS Agreement. New detailed reports are required every third year, and updates in the intervening years.
61. He recalled that in June 2021, the Council had requested developed country Members to submit their seventh set of new detailed reports in time for the present meeting, and the Secretariat had since circulated a reminder. He also noted that the LDCs had submitted a proposal of a template for the submission of reports on commitments of developed countries under Article 66.2.
62. He noted that the Council had received new reports from Switzerland, Japan, Australia, the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, and the European Union. Since the circulation of the revised draft agenda Norway had also submitted its report. This documentation was being circulated under the new dedicated document series with the symbol – where "R" stands for "Reports" and "TTI" stands for "Technology Transfer Incentives".
63. He said that paragraph 2 of the Council's Decision on the Implementation of Article 66.2 states that the annual review should provide Members with an opportunity to pose questions in relation to the information submitted and request additional information; discuss the effectiveness of the incentives provided in promoting and encouraging technology transfer to least developed country Members in order to enable them to create a sound and viable technological base; and consider any points relating to the operation of the reporting procedure established by the Decision.
64. Some of the information by developed country Members had been received only very recently, and most of it was, so far, available only in its original language. He therefore intended for Members to have an opportunity to make further comments at the next meeting of the Council. This would give Members a chance to study the information recently circulated and any additional information subsequently received.
65. The Chair announced that the Secretariat was planning to hold the Article 66.2 Workshop in March 2022. In light of the changing situation, the dates of the workshop had not yet been fixed, but would be communicated as soon as they were finalized. This would allow LDCs sufficient time to absorb the information provided by developed countries in their reports and also to ensure that these reports are available in the official languages of the WTO. It would further be an opportunity to discuss the LDC Groups' proposal for a template for reporting on commitments under this Article. He indicated that the Workshop would comprise two days of workshop sessions, and a reporting and review segment within the first TRIPS Council meeting of 2022.
66. He reported that in preparation of the next annual Workshop, the Secretariat had circulated an Article 66.2 survey questionnaire to LDC Members, acceding governments, and observers on 27 September 2021. The relevant delegations were invited to answer questions on current areas of needs and priority for technological development, projects that are relevant to these areas of technology transfer, and their general experience with projects reported under the Article 66.2 implementation and review process. The survey was an optional tool to assist with preparations for the annual workshop and aimed at facilitating and informing practical dialogue and coordination. The deadline to submit answers to this survey questionnaire was Friday, 29 October 2021.
67. The representatives of the United Kingdom; the European Union; Canada; Australia; Norway; the United States; Switzerland; Bangladesh, on behalf of the LDC Group; China; India; and Japan took the floor.
68. The Chair suggested that Members be given an opportunity to continue considering the information provided at our next meeting.
69. The Council took note of the statements made and agreed to revert to the matter at its next meeting.
IP/C/M/103, IP/C/M/103/Add.1