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

H.E. Ambassador Dagfinn Sørli (Norway)
14 DRAFT GENERAL COUNCIL DECLARATION ON THE TRIPS AGREEMENT AND PUBLIC HEALTH IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF A PANDEMIC
294.   Thank you, Chair, for your summary on our activity on this agenda item. Our position aligns with what has been said or will be conveyed by our fellow co-sponsors. COVID-19 is without a doubt the greatest and most immediate challenge to the world today. While parts of the world are making good progress and on their way to recovery, most low- and middle-income countries are still struggling in their efforts to combat the pandemic. 295.   A year and a half into the pandemic, close to 5 million people have died. 66% of people in high-income countries have so far received at least one shot of a COVID-19 vaccine, compared to 2% of people in low-income countries. Noting what other co-sponsors have said, as well as our own statements in the past, Indonesia's position is well-known. Indonesia is of the view that the TRIPS waiver is necessary to overcome the problems arising from the highly concentrated production and distribution of the vaccines. 296.   On the way forward, with less than two months left before MC12, we need to speed up our work and show good faith in resolving this issue. Our delegation cannot stress enough the urgency of delivering an outcome on this issue at MC12, as failure to do so would not only reflect badly on Members but also put into question the relevance and credibility of this Organization. 297.   We must heed the calls, including those from the Director-General of the World Health Organization and most of the world's leaders, that the TRIPS waiver is needed as part of the solution to combat the pandemic. As such, we should move beyond conceptual discussions and move towards a real text-based negotiation of the TRIPS Waiver Proposal. Rest assured that Indonesia remains fully committed to engage constructively for a meaningful outcome at MC12.
121. The Chair recalled that on 4 June 2021, the Council had received a communication from the European Union on "Urgent Trade Policy Responses to the COVID-19 Crisis: Intellectual Property".(document ), which had been followed on 18 June 2021 by a "Draft General Council Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health in the Circumstances of a Pandemic".(document ).
122. The European Union had introduced its proposed declaration during an informal meeting held on 24 June 2021. The proposal had also been discussed during informal meetings held on 30 June and 6 and 14 July, and at a formal meeting on 20 July. It had since been discussed at every meeting dedicated to discussing the revised TRIPS waiver proposal under the previous agenda item. As part of the TRIPS Council's status reports to the General Council on the revised waiver request on 27 July and on 4 October, Members had reported that the TRIPS Council would also continue its consideration of the EU's proposal.
123. The representatives of the United Kingdom; Pakistan; Cuba; Republic of Korea; Singapore; Turkey; China; Switzerland; Norway; Brazil; Mozambique; India; and the European Union took the floor.
124. The Chair thanked the delegations for their interventions. Noting that the consideration of the present item was closely linked to the previous one, he suggested to also suspend the conclusion of this agenda item, so that it could be taken up together with the waiver discussion, when the Council resumed these items.
125. The Council took note of the statements made and agreed to keep the agenda item open.
126. At the reconvened meeting of 18 November, the report to the General Council was adopted and the Chair said that, it was therefore understood that the agenda items 13 and 14 on the Council's agenda continued to remain open in order to permit more time for bilateral engagement, with a view to resuming – at short notice if necessary – the meeting, when there were indications that Members might be ready to reach an agreement. [see paragraphs 93-99]
127. At the reconvened meeting of 29 November, the Chair proposed to take agenda items 13 and 14 together, as delegations had been making a single statement. [see paragraphs 100-107]
128. At the reconvened meeting of 16 December, the Chair proposed to take agenda items 13 and 14 together, as delegations had been making a single statement. [see paragraphs 108-119]
IP/C/M/103, IP/C/M/103/Add.1