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

H.E. Ambassador Dr Lansana GBERIE
Bangladesh on behalf of LDC Group

234.   I deliver this statement on behalf of the LDC Group. Regarding paragraph 8 of the Ministerial Decision on TRIPS waiver, the LDC Group aligns with the statement delivered by the delegation of South Africa on behalf of the co-sponsors of document IP/C/W/669/Rev.1. 235.   We are disappointed that Members could not agree within the deadline to follow the good gesture of our Ministers on extending the TRIPS waiver decision to cover COVID-19 diagnostics and therapeutics. In December 2022, the Council for TRIPS recommended that the GC would extend the deadline that ended on 17 December 2022. We earlier pointed out that the extended deadline must not change the MC12 Decision and its scope. It is unfortunate that till the last General Council on 7 March 2023, we could not make a decision on this issue. 236.   We cannot ignore the threat of the future pandemics and the necessity of affordable and timely access to diagnostics and therapeutics. We do not want more deaths, human sufferings, shutdowns, travel restrictions and disruptions. Preparedness is always better than the last minutes' efforts. Therefore, the MC12 Decision on the TRIPS waiver should be extended to cover COVID-19 therapeutics and diagnostics, as soon as possible. The LDC Group looks forward to continuing meaningful discussions on this important file.

60. The Council so agreed.
56. The Chair recalled that under paragraph 8 of the Ministerial Decision on the TRIPS Agreement, adopted on 17 June 2022, Members had agreed to make a decision within six months from adoption, on whether to extend this Decision to cover the production and supply of COVID-19 diagnostics and therapeutics. He also recalled that at the last formal meeting in October – and resumed in December – the Council had recommended to the General Council to extend the deadline for such a decision. The General Council, at its meeting on 19 December 2022, had agreed to this recommendation and resolved to return to the question of the duration of the extension at its next meeting. At its recent meeting on 6-7 March 2023, the General Council had agreed that it would keep the question of the duration of the extension on its agenda again for its next meeting – and that Members would provide updates on where they stand on their internal processes. In the meantime, substantive discussions would continue in the Council for TRIPS. It was against this background, that the item was on the Council's agenda.
57. The representatives of Tanzania, on behalf of the African Group; South Africa; Bangladesh, on behalf of the LDC Group; Nepal; Egypt; Kenya, on behalf of the ACP Group; Indonesia; China; India; the United States of America; Brazil; Switzerland; Japan; the United Kingdom; Chinese Taipei; the European Union; Korea, Republic of; Singapore; and Norway took the floor.
58. With respect to next steps, the Chair said that in his experience, Council discussions were most constructive when they were well prepared and took place on the basis of submissions and proposals that Members had been able to study in advance. The 10-day rule for the closing of the Airgram was intended precisely for that purpose, namely, to allow Members to prepare for the items on the agenda, so that discussions at the Council meeting were constructive and focused. The next formal meeting of the Council was scheduled for 14-15 June – and the agenda for that meeting would close on 1 June.
59. Given that his term as Chair ended with the current meeting, he suggested that the new Chair be invited to consult with Members on how best to move forward with work under this agenda item.
60. The Council so agreed.
IP/C/M/107, IP/C/M/107/Add.1