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
507.   We appreciate the updates made by South Africa, the European Union, and others. We have also followed some media coverage on this important issue. It is good to know that recently there have been some small group discussions at ministerial level and between experts, and the momentum is building for an urgent resolution on the TRIPS waiver. 508.   After over a year's discussion on a TRIPS waiver, we have increasingly realized the fact that we are all living in a community with a shared future. As the pandemic and its variants keep raging across the world, it is vital to ensure that the majority of the global population be vaccinated. To that end, Chinese President Xi Jinping has reiterated China's support to waive intellectual property rights on COVID-19 vaccines at the opening ceremony of the eighth ministerial conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation. President Xi also announced that China will provide another 1 billion doses of vaccines to Africa, among which 400 million doses will be jointly produced by Chinese companies and relevant African countries. 509.   We believe the postponement of MC12 highlights the urgency and importance of this particular issue. We support the suggestion made by you, Chair, about putting a compromise text on the table as soon as possible. As always, China will continue to make our utmost efforts and due contributions in this regard.
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