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

Ambassador Carlos Pérez del Castillo (Uruguay)
48. The representative of Iceland said that his delegation had listened with great interest to the discussion and legal interpretations concerning the mandate. However, such discussion was not bound to take Members forward a lot, bearing in mind that Members were obliged to enter into negotiations on the establishment of a multilateral system of notification and registration according to Article 23.4. He reminded Members that one of the major reasons for the failure in Seattle might have been that Members had been trying to swallow too big a bite which got stuck in Members' throats. Fortunately, Members had been able to spit it out before getting choked. He suggested that the Council concentrate in the coming months on the multilateral system for the notification and registration of geographical indications. There were a number of questions unanswered in regard to such a system. For instance, what would be the cost of operating such a system? What was the system supposed to cover? In that connection, there was also the question as to whether Members should extend the scope. He tended to agree with those that had said that the mandate was unclear. The scope was limited to wines and, possibly, spirits. As regards the costs, he wondered whether the system would put an additional burden on Members, in particular developing and least developed countries. How would the dispute settlement mechanism apply in relation to the system, and arbitration? Members should concentrate on the system itself and see if they could reach any consensus or agreement to establish such a system, run it for several years and see how successful it would be. If it turned out to function well and helped Members, then Members might start discussing the possibility of extending the system to other types of goods.