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

H.E. Ambassador Dr Lansana GBERIE

239.   Egypt aligns itself with the statement delivered by South Africa on behalf of the cosponsors, and Tanzania on behalf of the African Group, and other co-sponsors' statements. We regret that we did not reach a decision on the extension of the TRIPS waiver to cover therapeutics and diagnostics by the deadline of 17 December 2022, as per the mandate in paragraph 8 of the MC12 Decision. We showed maximum flexibility in agreeing to continue the discussions for six months. We tried to accommodate some Members who expressed a desire to conduct domestic consultations. We urge Members that are conducting domestic consultations to expedite their internal processes and give due consideration to the technical input of the World Health Organization (WHO), World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and other relevant international organizations. 240.   In this regard, we are calling on the Council for TRIPS to invite the WHO, and other relevant organizations to provide us with the recent developments of the situation, from the substantive and technical point of views. My delegation would like to refer to the submission of the co-sponsors at the General Council of document WT/GC/W/860 that calls on the membership to agree on the extension of the Ministerial Decision to cover COVID-19 therapeutics and diagnostics, and we call on the Council for TRIPS to embark on the discussion on this proposal, and we expect our trade partners to engage constructively with us in the discussion. The extension of the MC12 TRIPS Decision to therapeutics and diagnostics is "unfinished business" regarding its development dimension. It was put on a fast track as a post-MC12 deliverable. We joined the consensus at the time to extend the deadline to reach a decision, but now we believe that we should reach a decision to extend the decision to therapeutics and diagnostic. On the other hand, and in relation to the discussion on Iintertem 3 (IP and COVID-19), it should be noted that the pace of the discussions has outlined the importance of commencing discussions on a triggering mechanism to deal with future pandemics.

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