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
474.   For more than a year we have discussed Members' responses to the global health crisis and the economic consequences of the measures taken to contain the COVID19 pandemic. However, we have not yet managed to reach agreement on temporary intellectual property provisions that underpin a prompt solution to the pandemic, because countries' differences and positions have remained entrenched for more than one year. 475.   On this occasion Colombia would like to clarify its perspective and express its position with regard to the discussion. 476.   First, without prejudice to the enforcement of intellectual property rights protection and investments made and being made in this area, Colombia expresses its support for the temporary lifting of patent protections for COVID19 vaccines and their inputs. It is important to have a waiver for vaccine patents as part of a set of tools that also includes the expansion and decentralization of manufacturing centres for biological products around the globe, and a technology transfer system that will enable us to effectively address this pandemic and the next crises. 477.   Colombia will actively participate in the discussion and agreement on the mechanisms for the temporary patent waiver. We will urge all Members and will work to find a way for them to move past their entrenched positions and advance constructive dialogue, with flexible positions, to seek a coordinated, satisfactory, timely and necessary response. 478.   Second, Colombia reiterates its wellknown position against the imposition of restrictions on exports of vaccines and their inputs. These elements together are key to an effective and coordinated response to the pandemic.
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