61. The Chairperson first referred to the Symposium on "The Process of Implementation of the TRIPS Agreement", which had been organized jointly by the International Bureau of WIPO and the WTO Secretariat and held the day before the present meeting at WIPO headquarters. The Symposium had been scheduled to take place a day after the Assemblies of the member States of WIPO and one day before this meeting of the Council for TRIPS, in order to facilitate the widest possible participation of those government delegates and representatives of intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations that normally attended either of these meetings. The Symposium was a follow-up to two joint workshops on specific aspects of technical cooperation, one on the "Border Enforcement Provisions of the TRIPS Agreement", held in September 1996, and the other on "Technical Cooperation Aimed at Improving Human Resources and Institutional Capacities Required to Implement the TRIPS Provisions on Domestic Enforcement", held in July 1997. The Symposium had provided a forum for discussion and analysis of the challenges and opportunities for developing countries in the process of implementation of the obligations of the TRIPS Agreement, in particular in the light of the imminence of 1 January 2000, when the obligations would enter fully into force in many developing countries. He thanked the International Bureau of WIPO for its willingness to organize this Symposium jointly.
62. The Chairperson said that, since the Council's previous meeting, Australia, Iceland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Portugal had notified their contact points for technical cooperation purposes relating to the TRIPS Agreement. The Secretariat had circulated a revised compilation of all notifications of contact points for technical cooperation, and updates thereto, that had been received to date. This compilation could be found in document IP/N/7/Rev.2.
63. The Chairperson recalled that the Council had agreed, at its meeting of 12 May 1998, to focus on technical cooperation at the present meeting. In preparation for that discussion, it had been agreed that developed country Members would update information on their technical and financial cooperation activities relevant to the implementation of the TRIPS Agreement in time for the present meeting. In addition, intergovernmental organizations observers to the Council had also been invited to do the same. The resulting documentation concerning the technical cooperation activities of developed country Members could be found in documents IP/C/W/109 and addenda, and of intergovernmental organizations in documents IP/C/W/108 and addenda. Updated information on the WTO Secretariat's technical cooperation activities in the TRIPS area could be found in document IP/C/W/110. Paragraphs 8 and 9 of that document contained information on the Joint Initiative on Technical Cooperation to assist developing countries to meet their commitments under the TRIPS Agreement by the year 2000, that the WIPO and WTO Secretariats had launched in July 1998.
64. The Chairperson said that, as much of this information had been received only very recently, some of it was, thus far, available only in its original language and it was, therefore, his intention to provide an opportunity, at the next meeting, for the Members of the Council to make further comments on the information submitted for the present meeting that they might not yet have been able to study, and any further information provided before that meeting. As regards the joint WIPO-WTO Symposium, he invited Members to make comments or to suggest topics for future events of this type.