86. The Chairman said that, before moving on to the election of his successor, he hoped that delegations would permit him, as the outgoing Chairperson, the liberty of some brief remarks about the work that the Council had performed over the last year. He recalled that his predecessor, Mr. Stuart Harbinson, had once described the work of the Council during his period in the Chair as essentially one of "pump priming" - putting into place certain arrangements as a basis for the future work of the Council. He believed that the Council over the past year had made useful progress in carrying out the tasks before it. In this connection, he would like to highlight four aspects of this work:
-The past year had been characterized by the "bedding-in" of the working arrangements that had been established in 1995 - giving concrete expression to them and their development. Examples to be mentioned were the notification procedures, the procedures for the review of national implementing legislation and the cooperation agreement with WIPO. He believed that the Council had been successful in beginning to put flesh on the bones.
-The second aspect to which he wished to draw attention was the value that he believed Members had found in the reviews of national implementing legislation, starting in July last year with the areas of copyright and related rights and continuing with trademarks, geographical indications and industrial designs in November. The review process had entailed a very substantive examination of the way that those countries already obliged to comply with the TRIPS Agreement as a whole were implementing their obligations. The reviews had been important as a vehicle for the Council to carry out its task of reviewing the operation of the TRIPS Agreement and monitoring compliance with its provisions. He was confident that equal value would be yielded by the up-coming reviews in 1997. He wished to add that he had noted the value that developing country Members still in the process of implementing their obligations had, as they had indicated to him, been able to draw from the review process, with an eye to the future. He said that, in that sense, he had drawn a particular satisfaction from that process.
-Another prominent feature of the Council's work during the course of the past year had been the issue of technical cooperation, in particular ensuring an expanded and updated information base on possibilities, together with relevant contact points. The Council's report to the Singapore Ministerial underlined the importance of technical and financial cooperation in accordance with Article 67 of the TRIPS Agreement, in order to facilitate implementation. He also wished to take the opportunity to express appreciation for the very extensive activities of the World Intellectual Property Organization in helping developing countries implement the TRIPS Agreement. In addition, he recalled the pilot workshop on a specific aspect of technical cooperation organized jointly with WIPO. He expressed his hope that the cooperative spirit in the Council could be continued.
-Finally, he believed that the stress on the built-in agenda in the Council's report to the Singapore Ministerial showed an important forward-looking component to its work and provided a good platform for the further development of this aspect as foreseen in the TRIPS Agreement itself.
87. Turning then to the issue at hand, namely the election of the Council's new Chairperson, he recalled that the Chairman of the General Council had carried out informal consultations on a slate of names for appointment as Chairpersons of various WTO standing bodies, in accordance with the established guidelines for appointment of officers. These proposed nominations had been approved by the General Council earlier this month. On the basis of the understandings reached, he proposed that the Council for TRIPS elect H.E. Ambassador Carmen Luz Guarda of Chile as Chair of this body by acclamation.