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

Ambassador C. Trevor Clarke (Barbados)
23. The representative of China thanked the Chairman for his leadership and his valuable contribution to the TRIPS Special Session. Her delegation welcomed his report which included a summary of the work under his Chairmanship, his understanding of a variety of critical issues and his suggestions on the way forward. Her delegation appreciated the Chair's personal efforts in preparing the report, and the transparency in the consultations and informal meetings with Members during the drafting process. She said that she was satisfied that the report contained a number of elements that the proponents of document TN/C/W/52 supported, such as the fact that the register should be useful and meaningful to participating Members, and that developing countries should be given special and differential treatment that was precise, effective and operational. 24. At the same time, China had concerns with certain aspects of the report. It was regrettable that the report did not reflect that more than two thirds of Members, most of them developing countries, supported parallelism and the linking of solutions to all three TRIPS issues, namely the GI register, GI extension and TRIPS/CBD in document TN/C/W/52. Her delegation was also disappointed that the report did not state that a multilateral registry system only for wine and spirit GIs would aggravate the discrimination against non-wine and non-spirit GIs. With regard to the issue of participation in the multilateral registration system, China believed that, according to the mandate, the negotiation regarding a GI register was not plurilateral or sectoral. Consequently, her delegation had difficulty in accommodating a proposal to develop and apply criteria to identify Members for participation. Having said this, she also wished to take this opportunity to clarify her understanding on how to push forward with the TRIPS-related issues. With regard to the guiding principles for future work as proposed by the Chairman, and judging from the state of play of the talks, her delegation believed that the most practical way forward was to advance the negotiations on the GI register, on GI extension, and on TRIPS/CBD together. The joint proposal by China and over one hundred Members, as well as written responses during the past year had already laid a solid foundation of technical talks. Against that background, her delegation proposed that negotiations on the three TRIPS issues should commence in parallel at once.
The Special Session took note of the statements made.