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

Ambassador Carlos Pérez del Castillo (Uruguay)
77. The representative of Australia, commenting on procedural issues, said that it was an open question whether the Council should have a mandate to continue its work on this issue in future meetings and, if so, what the scope of that mandate should be, for example whether it should simply review national mechanisms, or seek to formulate recommendations concerning implementation and interpretation of the language in the Agreement. There were broad unsubstantiated claims, for example, on a supposed conflict between the TRIPS Agreement and the CBD or on a lack of clarity as to the boundary between micro-organisms and other organisms, but there had been no discussion of the extensive material tabled in the Council in the review process on national provisions implementing this Article. Many developing country Members were still in the process of implementation and there might be many lessons to learn from their laws once they had been notified. Australia considered it appropriate for the review of the provisions of Article 27.3(b) to be extended to all Members obliged to implement by January 2000; otherwise, any conclusions that could be drawn might be weighed in favour of the Members who had implemented and provided information earlier. This review should proceed in conjunction with the Article 71.1 review of overall implementation, which was the process already established to consider how the TRIPS Agreement functioned and, if necessary, to provide the conceptual basis for any future discussions as to how the Agreement might develop further. Without that conceptual basis, it was difficult to see how further substantive work could be justified, particularly if it meant overriding the existing processes mandated by the Agreement.