70. The representative of Australia said that, as a mega-diverse country, Australia had a unique indigenous culture and a strong interest in a balance between holders and users of genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge. As a Party to the CBD, Australia shared relevant objectives in relation to genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge, including to facilitate access to genetic resources with prior informed consent and on mutually agreed terms, to take measures aimed at equitable sharing of the benefits of the utilization of genetic resources, and to respect, preserve and maintain traditional knowledge. In that regard, Australia's access and benefit sharing system provided for access and benefit sharing in relation to genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge consistent with their obligations under the CBD.
71. Australian national experience indicated that effective benefit-sharing regimes could be implemented without making changes to the patent system. Accordingly, the TRIPS Agreement and the CBD were consistent and could be implemented in a mutually supportive manner. Nevertheless, Australia was prepared to engage constructively in discussions on genetic resources in relevant international forums, including WIPO, the WTO, the CBD and the WHO.
72. Australia considered that disclosure requirements might merit further consideration in conjunction with other options such as databases. In that regard, the WIPO IGC was undertaking a detailed consideration of the relationship between intellectual property and genetic resources as well as traditional knowledge and folklore. The WIPO IGC had been requested to submit the text of an international legal instrument or instruments on the protection of the three subject matters to the WIPO General Assembly in September 2011. The WIPO IGC had undertaken work in that area, and it was an appropriate forum to discuss in detail intellectual property issues relating to traditional knowledge and genetic resources.
73. Australia had participated actively in the Director-General's informal consultations on the TRIPS-CBD issue. However, significant divergences remained, and her delegation remained unconvinced that there was a need to amend the TRIPS Agreement as proposed in document TN/C/W/59.