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
559.   China would like to thank the European Union for the issue raised under Article 63.3 and is willing to discuss relevant issues with Members through proper channels. After a thorough study, China has offered a reply on 7 September. Taking this opportunity, we would like to express three points: 560.   Firstly, as a responsible Member, China has always attached great importance to the protection of IP rights. We have been improving legislation and enforcement of intellectual property rights protection strictly in accordance with WTO rules and China's commitments on accession, and notify them to the WTO in a timely manner. 561.   Secondly, China attaches high value to transparency obligations and is constantly striving to improve this area. Article 63.3 requires Members to provide further information, but also sets corresponding conditions. According to relevant rules, we believe the issue raised by the EU is beyond the scope of Article 63.3. Although China is not obliged to answer such questions in accordance with the rules, we still uphold the principles of goodwill and transparency and did our best to answer these questions. 562.   Thirdly, we maintain different forms and levels of communication channels with Members including the EU to share information and strengthen cooperation in the field of intellectual property rights. In response to this issue, we have expressed our willingness to continue exchanging views with EU through existing channels and would continue to strengthen our efforts 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