Actas - Consejo de los ADPIC - Ver detalles de la intervención/declaración

Ambassador Karen Tan (Singapore)
112. The representative of India said that it attached high importance to the Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health, the system established under the Decision and the Protocol. His delegation had notified its acceptance of the Protocol in March 2007. However, in spite of the extended period for acceptance agreed in December 2007, only 26 Members had accepted the Protocol so far. The fact that there was still a long way to go for it to enter into force, as acceptance by two thirds of the membership was required, was not a positive signal. There was no choice but to extend the period for acceptance by another two years, and at the same time urge Members to complete acceptance formalities as soon as possible. 113. His delegation had always been of the view that the Doha Declaration constituted a major landmark in the short history of the WTO because it had recognized the primacy of public health needs and the preparedness of the Organization to take up the problems faced by the poor in developing countries. Along with several other Members, India had worked relentlessly on the Doha Declaration and the Decision. The Decision was expected to address the public health problems faced by Members with insufficient or no manufacturing capacities in the pharmaceutical sector. However, already at the General Council meeting in August 2003, his delegation had expressed concerns that "the results accruing from this mechanism would not be negated by the creation of cumbersome systems that would lead to huge delays in getting medicines across at reasonable cost to those that needed them or discourage Members from using the system for the benefit of the people. In order to make this system successful, a sincere collective effort was required on the part of all Members and the entire pharmaceutical industry." He regretted that his delegation had been proven right. The export of HIV/AIDS medicines by the Canadian pharmaceutical company Apotex to Rwanda in September 2008 had been the first use of the system. Canada had to be complimented on its effort to supply the medicines and to operationalize the system. However, it had taken about three years to supply the medicine. It was therefore time for reflection on the obstacles to the use of the system which was supposed to be an expeditious solution to the problem with respect to access to medicines in countries with insufficient or no manufacturing capacity. Experience showed that it had been far from expeditious. Even a perfunctory examination of the list of the 26 Members which had accepted the Protocol so far revealed that there were hardly any of the anticipated beneficiaries which had completed the process of acceptance. Countries with insufficient or no manufacturing capacities were missing from this list. He wondered whether this was merely due to reasons of domestic procedures or whether it represented some kind of apathy towards the system. 114. Paragraph 8 of the Decision instructed the TRIPS Council to review annually the functioning of the system with a view to ensuring its effective operation and to annually report on its operation to the General Council. During the fifth annual review at the Council's meeting in October 2008, factual information regarding the implementation and use of the system and the acceptance of the Protocol had been circulated. There had been limited discussion on why the paragraph 6 system had been used only once in the last six years. He supported the suggestion by Egypt and Tanzania that the Chair hold informal consultations with interested Members on obstacles, if any, to the effective operation of the system. The recommendations emerging from such discussions could then be considered by the Council for further action.