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
421.   Thank you for convening this afternoon discussion, and I thank the earlier speakers for their views. We associate ourselves with the statement made by South Africa. We also want to express our support for the statement made by India. Listening to the other delegations, it seems that we are still continuing to state our nonpositions. If we continue with this approach, I am very sorry, but the WTO will find some difficulties in coming to a convergence of ideas. From my side, it is unfortunate that we are not in text-based negotiations. I think it is imperative, it is incumbent on us to start those textbased negotiations. 422.   Why have we not commenced text-based negotiations on the proposal? The WTO Secretariat should be trying to help us: they listen to all the ideas, put things down on a document, and then we can work towards text-based negotiations and come to an agreement. I think that is a very important next step that we must take. As I indicated during the informal session with the cancellation of MC12, it speaks very directly to us that we must make a decision as soon as possible. Let us not wait for the next MC12. Let us make this decision and come to a resolution as soon as possible. It is our duty to do that. Thank you Chair. I am sure that you are listening and absorbing the other comments that have been and will be made by other delegations.
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