Minutes - TRIPS Council - View details of the intervention/statement

H.E. Ambassador Dagfinn Sørli

121.   Switzerland's position under this agenda item is well known. According to its Article 64 para. 1 and 2, non-violation and situation complaints are applicable under the TRIPS Agreement, once the moratorium ends. Switzerland is of the view that no additional modalities are needed for the application of such complaints under the TRIPS Agreement next to those already contained in the Dispute Settlement Understanding (DSU). On 5 November 2021, Switzerland joined the consensus in the TRIPS Council to recommend to MC12 to extend the moratorium in Article 64.2 once more till the next Ministerial Conference. In the meantime, my delegation is prepared to discuss constructively proposals from Members on modalities, if they think such modalities are necessary in addition to those contained in the DSU.

34. The Council took note of the statements made and agreed to revert this matter at its next meeting, and to request the incoming Chair to hold consultations on this matter.
28. The Chair recalled that, at its session of 10 December 2019, the General Council had directed the TRIPS Council to continue the examination of the scope and modalities for non-violation and situation complaints, and to make recommendations to the 12th Ministerial Conference (MC12). It had also been agreed that, in the meantime, Members would not initiate such complaints under the TRIPS Agreement. In the run-up to the original date of MC12 the Council had agreed on 5 November 2021 to recommend to the 12th Ministerial Conference to extend the moratorium once again until the next Ministerial Conference, that is to MC13.
29. Against this background, and given that the Council had already agreed on its recommendation to MC12 which was now scheduled June 2022, the Chair invited delegations to share how to the Council's work on this item should be organized.
30. The Chair said that, at recent meetings, and at the small group consultations that had been held in preparation for the present meeting, he had noted that a few delegations had signalled openness to return to substantive discussions in this area. He recalled that one year ago, at the meeting that had taken place in March 2021, his predecessor had made a suggestion on how Members could identify areas of agreement in the non-violation discussions. She had suggested that identifying such areas, or elements, of agreement regarding the general nature of non-violation and situation complaints might help enable delegations to focus their engagement on the areas of disagreement – and thus make at least some progress in framing the questions for ministers. While there had been no appetite to take this approach when he had held follow-up consultations in 2021, he wondered whether delegations were now more at ease to consider this or any other approach that might help identify common ground.
31. The Chair invited Members to share their views and also, ideally, concrete practical guidance on how to best approach this item going forward.
32. The representatives of Brazil; India; Tanzania,; Bangladesh; Chile; Canada; Nigeria; Indonesia; the United States; South Africa; Switzerland; and Australia took the floor.
33. The Chair thanked the delegations for sharing their views, which would help the incoming Chair and the Secretariat to organize the Council's work going forward, and suggested that the Council request the incoming Chair to hold consultations in this regard.
34. The Council took note of the statements made and agreed to revert this matter at its next meeting, and to request the incoming Chair to hold consultations on this matter.
IP/C/M/104/Add.1, IP/C/M/104/Rev.1, IP/C/M104