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

H.E. Ambassador Dr Lansana GBERIE
Tanzania on behalf of African Group

126.   Non-violation and situation complaints remain a priority issue for the African Group, and our long-standing position has not changed on the matter. In our view, the moratorium should remain as a permanent feature of the TRIPS Agreement. It is clear with the African Group that, should the moratorium expire, it will not trigger an automatic application of subparagraphs 1(b) and 1(c) of Article XXIII of GATT 1994 on the dispute settlement mechanism, without having adopted by consensus the scope and modalities. For this, the proponents have not brought any proposal on that matter, and that clearly indicates the difficulties which were predicted from the very beginning of the establishment of the Agreement, that non-violation and situation complaints should not be applicable for this particular agreement due to the flexibilities that have been well considered, so to speak. Nevertheless, the African Group remains committed to work with other Members on the in-built mandate to examine the scope and modalities.

31. The Council took note of the statements made and agreed to revert to this matter at its next meeting.
26. The Chair recalled that the examination of scope and modalities for non-violation and situation complaints under TRIPS was in line with the initial mandate in Article 64.3 of the TRIPS Agreement, which had required recommendations to be submitted to the Ministerial Conference in 1999.
27. He recalled that at the 12th Ministerial Conference, Ministers had adopted a Decision on TRIPS non-violation complaints (document ), which directed the Council for TRIPS to continue its examination of the scope and modalities for non-violation and situation complaints, and to make recommendations to the 13th Ministerial Conference. The Decision also provided that, in the meantime, Members would not initiate such complaints under the TRIPS Agreement.
28. He said that, during recent meetings of the Council for TRIPS, a few delegations had signalled openness to return to substantive discussions in this area. In March 2021, his predecessor had suggested that Members could identify areas of agreement in the non-violation discussions. Identifying such areas or elements of agreement regarding the nature of non-violation and situation complaints could help delegations focus their engagement on the areas of disagreement and thus make at least some progress in framing the relevant questions for discussion.
29. The Chair inquired whether delegations were more at ease now to consider this or any other approach that might help identify common ground, in order to get some movement in this longstanding debate.
30. The representatives of South Africa; Bangladesh; Tanzania, on behalf of the African Group; India; Kenya, on behalf of the ACP Group and Indonesia took the floor.
31. The Council took note of the statements made and agreed to revert to this matter at its next meeting.
IP/C/M/107, IP/C/M/107/Add.1