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

Ambassador István Major (Hungary)
D.ii Updated information on technical cooperation activities
38. The representative of Australia said that she was pleased to hear that the practice of gathering information on technical cooperation activities by Members and intergovernmental organizations would continue this year. As the due date for implementation by developing countries approached, it was increasingly important that the available technical cooperation be coordinated and focused on the practical needs and requirements of the countries in question. This was the important message that had been received from a recent WTO seminar held in Australia for sixteen least-developed countries and other developing countries from the Asia/Pacific region. The seminar was aimed at providing a general overview of the TRIPS Agreement and the practical implications of its implementation, in particular to identify the needs of these countries and to facilitate the access to experts in the fields of legislation, administration and enforcement. She expressed her gratitude for the work and cooperation of the WTO Secretariat and the Government of New Zealand in the organization of the seminar, and for the generous financial support of the Government of Hong Kong, China. In addition, she expressed her appreciation to the participants in this seminar for the practical insights and guidance they had provided, which had ensured that the seminar had been focused on concrete issues confronting them. One of the features of the seminar had been syndicate discussions at the sub-regional level where the participants explored how to identify the priority intellectual property issues for their countries and how to develop a strategic approach to TRIPS implementation that would take into account the specific national economic factors, legal factors and the infrastructural constraints. She believed that it would be useful, in order to share the valuable lessons of this, to prepare an informal outcome document providing an overview of the discussion, in particular of the possible mechanisms for enhanced international technical cooperation in TRIPS implementation, and reviewing possible approaches to identifying and prioritizing technical needs and requirements of individual countries. She hoped that this would contribute to the broader effort underway to facilitate more coordinated and effective use of resources to ensure that they were focused on concrete needs. She concluded that Australia itself looked forward to increased partnerships and activities in these areas with Members in the process of implementing the TRIPS Agreement and that her delegation stood ready to contribute further resources and expertise in dialogue with partners on technical cooperation.