141. The representative of the Secretariat recalled that, at previous meetings of the Council, he had reported on a range of activities undertaken at the request of LDC Members to support this process. The Secretariat's work had been guided by the Council's 2005 decision, and in particular the three operational elements of that decision, the first element being that the LDCs were asked to provide the Council with as much information as possible on what was needed as a priority for technical and financial assistance. The second element was for developed countries that were asked to provide the technical and financial help required by the LDCs to address the identified needs effectively. The third element was of direct relevance to the Secretariat as it was a requirement to enhance cooperation with the World Intellectual Property Organization and with other relevant international organizations. The organizations concerned were indeed cooperating more closely in this area. In the case of WIPO in particular, this cooperation was required directly in response to the specific request of the Council, and was also based on the existing cooperation agreement as well as the joint initiative on technical cooperation for LDCs, which had been launched in 2001. Accordingly, this partnership remained a key element of this activity and perhaps it had become even more important with the elaboration of the WIPO Development Agenda and the programme established for LDCs in particular. Cooperation had also been enhanced with UNCTAD, which itself had contributed to the needs assessment process early on at the request of several of the countries which had since reported to the Council, and with other organizations dealing with specific subject areas, such as the stepped up cooperation with the World Health Organization on the public health dimension.
142. The Secretariat had been asked to undertake a series of activities by the LDC Group of Members in 2009, in particular a series of regional workshops, which had been planned to harvest the experience so far with the LDC needs assessment process, but also to lay the groundwork for improved coordination of the delivery of technical and financial assistance to meet the needs identified. The Secretariat had also been requested at that time to hold a final workshop in Geneva, at the end of the current year and at the culmination of the regional workshops, to draw together the wide range of experience that had been harvested and to reinforce coordination with the providers of assistance and the concerned intergovernmental organizations. Accordingly, the regional workshops and the final Geneva workshop had been included in the biannual technical assistance and training plan for the current biennium 2010/11. The regional workshops had since then been undertaken in Uganda, Bangladesh and Senegal, and the contribution of the host governments was acknowledged with appreciation.
143. The planning for the Geneva workshop was still underway in consultation with the LDC Group and intergovernmental partners, in particular WIPO and UNCTAD. The current plan was for the event to be held back-to-back with the Council's October meeting so as to facilitate the participation of delegates and concerned officials. In practice, this would mean holding the workshop from 19-21 October as the most practical dates. Based on the past experience and the lessons learnt from the regional workshops, the important ingredients for the workshop would be, firstly, as far as possible, capital-based participation from those LDC Members who had a strong interest in this process in close coordination with the Geneva missions concerned and the LDC Group from whom the Secretariat would continue to take guidance. Secondly, the participation by a wide cross-section of national agencies and intergovernmental organizations with responsibility for coordinating and administering technical assistance programmes, the resources and the programmes that would respond to the needs identified. Thirdly, scope for some informal bilateral interaction as part of the workshop structure; this had been a well-received aspect of the regional workshops allowing for practical coordination at a very informal level between LDC Members who had communicated their individual priority needs and those who were responsible for technical assistance programmes and the other necessary resources to respond to the needs identified. There were ongoing resourcing and logistical issues for the workshop, but the Secretariat was working on a format that would make a concrete and tangible contribution to advancing all three aspects of the TRIPS Council decision and create a robust and practical basis for the next phase of the process of communicating and responding to individual priority needs of LDCs and focussing the resources on the needs identified, as well as resource mobilization through enhanced coordination. The Secretariat would continue taking the guidance of LDC Members as an immediate priority as this work would unfold through to the Geneva workshop and following through on any outcomes or recommendations from the workshop and the Council's October meeting.