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

H.E. Ambassador Dagfinn Sørli and Ambassador Dr. Lansana Gberie
Chad on behalf of LDC Group

444.   Under this agenda item, on behalf of the LDC Group, I would like to thanks HE Ambassador Dagfinn Sørli for his important contributions, the effectiveness of his leadership and the wisdom with which he has led the work of the TRIPS Council, in particular his advocacy on behalf of LDCs in the multilateral trading system. Under your leadership, Ambassador Sørli, we have obtained conclusive results. There are a number of noteworthy examples, but I see only one here of relevance to LDCs: it concerns the extension of the transition period provided for in Article 66.1 of the TRIPS Agreement. The transition period for LDCs will be extended by 13 years to 1 July 2034. LDCs will thereby continue to have sufficient room for manoeuvre. The transition period provided for in Article 66.1 of the TRIPS Agreement is an essential element of the special and differential treatment for LDCs. This specific feature is provided for in recognition of the particular situation of LDCs, especially in terms of their capacity constraints and their need to create a sound and viable technological base. The compromise, which was reached through the adoption by the WTO of a formal decision on 29 June 2021, is the culmination of many months of intense discussions under the leadership of Ambassador Sørli, who went above and beyond until we were able to reach a consensus with our partners. 445.   The constructive and fruitful deliberations we have had at the TRIPS Council have enabled Members to better understand our challenges in terms of increasing our share of global trade. The LDC Group is therefore infinitely grateful to Ambassador Sørli for his considerable efforts on behalf of the LDC Group, as well as for his excellent work as Chair of the TRIPS Council. We wish him every success in his future activities, including within the WTO, and we know we can rely on him to support and help us whenever we ask. 446.   On behalf of the LDC Group, I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate the new Chair. Our Group remains convinced that you will show able leadership in guiding the work of the TRIPS Council, especially in these extraordinary and extremely challenging times. You can count on the support of the entire LDC Group in the performance of your duties.

The Council so agreed.
101. The Chair turned to the last agenda item, namely "election of the Chairperson".
102. He noted that the rules of procedure provided that "[t]he election shall take place at the first meeting of the year and shall take effect at the end of the meeting", and that "[t]he Chairperson […] shall hold office until the end of the first meeting of the following year". While agenda items 12 and 13 remained open, the meeting was therefore not formally closed. Nevertheless, it would be appropriate that the new chair takes over the gavel and presides over subsequent resumptions of the meeting under these items.
103. At its meeting on 23-24 February 2022, the General Council had noted consensus on the Chairpersons for regular and negotiating WTO bodies. On the basis of the understanding reached by the General Council, he proposed that the Council for TRIPS elect H.E. Dr. Lansana GBERIE, Ambassador of Sierra Leone, as its chairperson for the coming year.
104. The Council so agreed.
105. The representatives of Sierra Leone; Chad,; Bangladesh; Switzerland; the European Union; and Tanzania took the floor.
106. The Chair thanked delegations for their trust and cooperation during his term as TRIPS Council Chair during the past year, and expressed his hope that they would also support the efforts of his successor in addressing the items on the Council's agenda. He wished delegations and the new Chair much success in that endeavour.
107. The meeting was adjourned, with items 12 and 13 remaining open.
108. At the reconvened meeting on 1 June 2022, the meeting was closed.

IP/C/M/104/Add.1, IP/C/M/104/Rev.1, IP/C/M104