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

H Technical cooperation
63. The representative of Brazil wished to reiterate that his delegation attached the highest importance to the question of technical cooperation. He believed that the Council should go beyond the mere request for information or the simple calling on Members to remind them of their duties. What was important was to help developing country Members to fulfil their obligations, not only in terms of the actions they needed to take but also in terms of gathering information on the way other countries were doing so. In this connection, he recalled the idea that his delegation had put forward in the context of the review of national implementing legislation at the meeting in July of exploring the possibilities for developing countries to hire consultants to help them gather information and analyse the notifications made so as to allow them both to participate fully equipped in the review process and to prepare an appropriate aligning of their national laws to the provisions of the TRIPS Agreement. He would appreciate some guidance on the possibilities for the WTO to help individual countries or groups of countries to participate more effectively in the review of national legislation. In response, the representative of the Secretariat said that Members were aware of the resources constraints under which the WTO Secretariat operated and that it was not a widespread practice of the Secretariat to make consultants available for a particular country, except where specifically called for by an agreement, for example in the dispute settlement context. He would take the matter raised by Brazil up with his colleagues on the technical cooperation side. Naturally, given the resource limitations under which the Secretariat operated, there was an issue of priorities and a discussion on precisely that issue was taking place in the Committee on Trade and Development. A request would have to be examined in the context of any guidelines that might emerge.