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
531.   Indonesia aligns itself with the statement by South Africa and other co-sponsors of the TRIPS waiver. We would also like to take this opportunity to welcome Argentina as the newest cosponsor of the TRIPS waiver. 532.   It is regretful that MC12 has been postponed. However, we share the view of many Members that the work of the WTO, particularly on the TRIPS waiver, must continue. Now, more than ever, we need to have an outcome to send a clear message to the world that the WTO is still relevant and can deliver a meaningful and credible outcome. 533.   At the risk of repeating ourselves, we would like to urge Members to show good faith and engage constructively on the TRIPS Waiver Proposal, which has been tabled for over a year. We would like to emphasize that it is not necessary to have a consensus on a draft text from the beginning, as otherwise we would not need to negotiate it at all. It has been the practice of this Organization, very much in line with other international organizations, that negotiations can take place on a draft text without prejudice to the outcome. Simply refusing to discuss a draft text goes against the principle of good faith. 534.   The reality is that vaccine inequities persist, and the fact that we are now back in full virtual mode shows that the situation is not improving. In the case of Indonesia, despite the fact that we have obtained 243 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, this only accounts for 36.7% of our total population, which is fully vaccinated. 535.   As such, we would like to once again urge Members to go into text-based negotiations involving the broader membership so that this Organization can deliver on this very urgent issue for which the world is still struggling for a solution.
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