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

H.E. Ambassador Dr Pimchanok PITFIELD

156.  First of all, allow me to congratulate you for your appointment as Chair of this Council. With regard to this agenda item, the position of Argentina has not changed, and in that respect I would like to refer, as the delegation of Peru has done, to document IP/C/W/385/Rev.1 (of 27 May 2015), in which it is proposed that the TRIPS Council recommend to the Ministerial Conference that this kind of complaint provided for under subparagraphs 1(b) and 1(c) of Article XXIII of GATT 1994 is not applicable for dispute settlement purposes with regard to the TRIPS Agreement.

The Council took note of the statements made, agreed that the Chair would conduct consultations, and agreed that the Council would revert to these matters at its next meeting.
22. 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.
23. She 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.
24. She noted that, as reported in her communication circulated on 25 May, in her consultations on this matter she had explored delegations' appetite to return to substantive discussions on this issue by providing a factual overview of Members' views on the operation of non-violation complaints, based on existing materials and meeting records. Most delegations who had participated in the consultations had been cautiously receptive to this idea, although a few had reserved their position in this regard. In her view, collecting these elements in a neutral and factual way could be a first step to return to substantive discussions, if Members were so inclined.
25. While she sensed that there was not an enormous appetite for this work – particularly as the discussions on the TRIPS Decision were consuming much of delegations' bandwidth – she recalled that this was a ministerial mandate for the Council that was long overdue, and she encouraged Members to make serious efforts to resolve it.
26. Against this background, it was her suggestion that Members ask the Secretariat to look at Members' previous interventions and submissions under this agenda item, and to compile Members' views on the operation of NVSCs generally – and with respect to the TRIPS Agreement – in a neutral and factual manner. Such a compilation could highlight common elements in Members' views, and thus allow the discussion to focus more on the areas of disagreement. Such a document would, of course, be without prejudice to Members' positions in these discussions. She believed, nevertheless, that it could help the Council return to a substantive engagement with the scope and modalities for such complaints, as mandated by ministers.
27. The delegations of the United States of America; Bangladesh; Switzerland; Peru; Canada; the United Kingdom; China; Colombia; Korea, Republic of; Argentina; Tanzania, on behalf of the African Group; Indonesia; Nigeria; Hong Kong, China; Thailand; South Africa; India; the European Union; and Moldova, Republic of took the floor.
28. The Chair acknowledged certain Members' reservations with regard to the proposed factual compilation and encouraged delegations to engage on the matter of scope and modalities as directed by the Ministerial Decision.
29. The Council took note of the statements made, agreed that the Chair would conduct consultations, and agreed that the Council would revert to these matters at its next meeting.
IP/C/M/108, IP/C/M/108/Add.1