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
453.   Argentina appreciates the proposal submitted in 2020 and, from the outset, expressed its support therefor, on the understanding that the special situation resulting from the pandemic requires us to consider tools other than those existing under the TRIPS Agreement. 454.   Argentina has also expressed its firm belief that intellectual property rights should not be an obstacle to the protection of public health. In this regard, the Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health states that the "Agreement can and should be interpreted and implemented in a manner supportive of WTO Members' right to protect public health and, in particular, to promote access to medicines for all." 455.   In Argentina's view, the waiving of intellectual property rights should be considered an extraordinary measure of global solidarity – one that seeks to effectively combat the COVID19 pandemic by scaling up the production and enhancing the diversification of countries that produce vaccines, treatments, and essential medical goods to tackle COVID19. 456.   During this year of discussions, we have heard polarized opinions from Members, but firmly believe that, taking into account the impetus given to these discussions by the suspension of MC12 for health reasons, this is an optimal time to find common ground to reach an agreement. 457.   Argentina therefore joins the cosponsors of document and is fully supportive of the flexibility we need to find the common ground that will enable us to move forward in textbased negotiations. We will continue to work actively with the membership to reach this point as soon as possible.
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