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

Ambassador Chak Mun See (Singapore)
European Union
43. The representative of the European Communities said that the EC and their member States had provided technical cooperation for many years and would continue to do so because of their commitment to providing assistance to developing countries. This included assistance to the least developed WTO Members who were preparing themselves for meeting the deadline of 1 January 2006. His delegation also often discussed with representatives of developing countries and international organizations what the best methods were for providing such assistance or adapting it, for example, to make it more effective. Appropriate assistance should be available whenever the countries concerned requested it. His delegation would shortly make an additional notification with supplementary information from some of the EC member States, which had had technical difficulties in providing information on their technical cooperation activities on time. His delegation had noted that the submission received from the WHO was not limited to information about their technical cooperation activities, but also went into policy perspectives and objectives which the WHO pursued. While stressing that the EC and their member States were very active in areas covered by the WHO and their cooperation with the Organization worked well, he did not think that it was appropriate that such information was provided in this particular context. He also concurred with the United States that advice, assistance and opinions about the TRIPS Agreement should be provided by TRIPS experts and that authoritative interpretations of the provisions of the TRIPS Agreement could only be adopted by the Ministerial Conference or General Council following a recommendation from the TRIPS Council or, in the context of disputes under the DSU, by the Dispute Settlement Body. Therefore, caution was required when advice was provided concerning the application of the provisions of the Agreement.