74. The representative of Switzerland said that he was convinced about the importance of the TRIPS Agreement for the WTO and of the consistent implementation of the TRIPS obligations at the national level, which was the responsibility of each individual Member. He acknowledged the importance of technical and financial cooperation in order to assist least-developed country Members in taking the necessary steps to implement the Agreement. The WTO membership had confirmed its commitment to this task in the Council's decision in IP/C/40 of 29 November 2005 when extending LDC's transition period from 2006 to 2013.
75. The decision called for assessments by LDCs of their individual priority needs to implement the Agreement in order to provide a useful basis for addressing this task. He commended Sierra Leone and Uganda for having submitted such priority needs assessments to the Council, acting as pioneers for other LDC Members to follow. He thanked the WTO Secretariat for having organized informal meetings for Uganda and Sierra Leone with developed country Members to consider how their identified priority needs could best be met, thus facilitating initial bilateral contacts to look at potential contributions by developed country partners. In those informal meetings and at the Council's earlier discussions, Switzerland had pointed out the importance of considering a number of questions of a broader nature, such as the coordination of technical cooperation provided in order to avoid duplication and to ensure coherence and sustainability of assistance granted by individual donors and/or organizations competent in the field.
76. In order to promote a coordinated, efficient and expeditious response to the identified priority needs by LDCs, the role of existing multilateral mechanisms or frameworks that could come into play for addressing these needs merited further consideration. In this respect, his delegation had earlier referred to the EIF and the Aid for Trade initiative. A preliminary look at the action matrixes established in the context of the EIF indicated that LDCs had not submitted and listed priority needs in the field of intellectual property and TRIPS.
77. In order to make relevant information available to the Council and to its LDC Members, he proposed that the Council request the Secretariat to contact the EIF Secretariat and the coordinator of Aid for Trade with a view to gathering and presenting information to the Council's meeting in October on how these existing multilateral mechanisms and the expertise and funds available for trade-related technical assistance could be made use of to assist and help implement LDC priority needs assessment submitted to the Council under Article 67 of the TRIPS Agreement. He said that he was quite flexible as to the format and exact timing the Secretariat might choose for this, as long as the goal could be reached and that as many interested delegations as possible could be reached with that information. The presentation of this information could be combined with the workshops requested earlier by Angola and Tanzania. In this context, it would also be useful to address possible collaboration with other competent international organizations, such as WIPO, ARIPO or OAPI, which could partner in providing assistance to LDC Members. In the Council's decision in IP/C/40, the WTO Secretariat had been requested to seek to enhance its cooperation with relevant international organizations in order to assist LDC Members. He also recalled the provisions on technical assistance in the WTO-WIPO cooperation agreement.
78. He believed that such information would be useful for the WTO membership, particularly its LDC Members, in clarifying whether and how existing international coordination mechanisms and available expertise could be made use for the purposes of responding in an effective and expeditious manner to LDC priority needs assessments and national technical cooperation programmes in the TRIPS area, in addition to and beyond any assistance by individual donors. Concrete results in this process were of vital importance in view of the end date of the extension of the transitional period of 1 July 2013.