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

Ambassador C. Trevor Clarke (Barbados)
B.ii Meeting of 28 October 2009, p.m.
100. The representative of Argentina thanked the Chairman for his efforts in trying to help delegations understand each other. There were, however, some lines that separated the Joint Proposal Group from other delegations. 101. As regards the Chair's idea of some shared responsibility, he believed that, apart from any legal issue, the practical example given by the representative of Canada was quite useful. As a hypothetical case, if the European Communities were to notify 20,000 GIs, the suggestion made by the Chair to have a multilateral exercise of going through clarifying the names before registering them would be quite difficult. First, delegations here in Geneva would not have the expertise, and this would have to be done by the experts in the capitals. Second, if it had taken Canada many months, it would take Argentina even more time to go through a similar process. Consequently, the Chair's idea would not yield practical results, taking Canada's example. 102. He further said that the Chair's expression of "shared responsibility" caused his delegation concerns because of the voluntary nature of the register. If Argentina did not participate in the register, it would not have any obligation or responsibility. If it decided to be a participating Member, it would have some obligations because it had decided to endorse them. He had some difficulty in seeing what kind of shared responsibility his country could have vis-à-vis other participating Members. The only shared responsibility of all Members participating in the register that he could envisage would be for all participating Members to make the register function appropriately. 103. As regards the meaning of "to consult", he said that this was quite a simple obligation that could be translated in some words, but this obligation could not be an elastic one. While his delegation wanted to be cooperative, some ideas explored by the Chair would cause problems because the architecture of the register proposed in the joint proposal could not be changed, e.g. this Special Session could not go beyond the mandate of an obligation to consult.
The Special Session took note of the statements made.