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

Ambassador C. Trevor Clarke (Barbados)
B.i Cluster 1 (Legal effects and participation)
77. The representative of Costa Rica expressed his country's commitment to the mandate of the register for GIs for wines and spirits. The register must be of a voluntary nature, be simple and straightforward, should not disrupt the current balance of rights and obligations, and should facilitate the protection of GIs as mandated in Article 23.4 of the Agreement. 78. He thanked the European Communities for the document that they had distributed last week on their new ideas on "modalities". He said that the paper was circulated at short notice in English only. While regretting that it was a systemic problem to have a formal meeting discussing an informal document in one WTO official language only, he would not object to it since his delegation had really been looking forward to this discussion for a long time. He would, however, request the European Communities to come forward with a legal draft text in a formal way, as had been suggested by Australia. This would really help Members to make a better analysis and comparison with the joint proposal and the Hong Kong, China proposal. 79. He further said that his country had the same concerns and questions raised by New Zealand, El Salvador and Canada regarding legal effects. The EC's new idea of "prima facie evidence" would actually lead to the same effects as a rebuttable presumption. 80. His delegation did not agree with the EC's statement that its proposal did abide by development principles because it also covered the TRIPS/CBD issues. While the TRIPS/CBD issues were within the development dimension, they were not, however, part of the mandate of this Special Session. In response to the comment made by the EC that TN/C/W/52 was the only document having S&D components regarding the register of GIs for wines and spirits, he concurred with the delegation of Australia that the best way to ensure special and differential treatment would be to make participation voluntary. His delegation had co-sponsored the joint proposal in TN/IP/W/10/Rev.2 because it proposed a voluntary system, which would best meet the development objectives.
TN/C/W/52; TN/IP/W/10/Rev.2