2. The Chairman recalled that, since the Special Session's last formal meeting of 10 June 2009 and after the meeting of ministers at New Delhi, senior officials had met in Geneva as the first step of an agreed process of synchronizing the work of negotiating groups to coincide with monthly Senior Official Meeting (SOM) weeks. During the SOM week of September 2009, he had held consultations with a small group of delegations to give it a brief overview of the state of play and the remaining challenges. As other Chairs had done for their respective groups, he had suggested a work programme for the rest of the year, including a synchronization of the TRIPS Special Session formal meetings with SOM weeks, interlaced with informal and technical meetings or consultations as needed. He said that the present meeting had been called in accordance with the Structured Work Programme circulated at the meeting of the TNC on 22 September 2009 and was available on the WTO website.
3. He recalled that at the Senior Official meeting of 18 September 2009 he had indicated his intention to move from exchanges of views on the different proposals on the table towards a focused substantive discussion based on the list of four questions which he had suggested and circulated by fax on 2 October 2009. It was his intention to present, on his own responsibility and without prejudice to any Member's position, a short handover report in November, updating the technical areas already addressed in his predecessor's report in TN/IP/18 of 9 June 2008, and identifying areas where there appeared to be some commonality of views and those where divergences remained, as well as some indications as to moving towards solutions. In line with the Structured Work Programme, he had held an open-ended informal meeting on 2 October 2009 to report on the SOM process and consult with Members on how to organize the work in October and November.
4. He recalled that, at the last formal meeting of 10 June, discussions had been based on the categorization made by his predecessor in paragraph 4 of his report in TN/IP/18. These clusters were: (1) legal effects of a registration and participation in the system; (2) notification and registration; and (3) other elements such as fees, costs and administrative burdens, particularly for developing and least-developed country Members, and special and differential treatment. While there had been good exchanges of views, in particular on the consequences or legal effects of registration, and some delegations had also elaborated on how the consequences of registration under their respective proposals would play out in their respective national implementation, there was still a long way to go towards a more focused substantive discussion with down-to-earth examples and clarifications. In an attempt to encourage a structured substantive discussion, he had circulated a list of four questions by fax on 2 October 2009.
5. He also drew Members' attention to a room document entitled "Response to the Chair’s Questions dated 23 October 2009 submitted by: Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Paraguay, South Africa, the United States and Uruguay."