307. The representative of the Secretariat recalled that the purpose of the workshop convened by the Secretariat at the request of the LDC Group had been to enable the Members most concerned to discuss current documents in a more detailed and informal way than was possible in the Council itself. A very interactive discussion had taken place on the extensive reports from each of the reporting developed countries. He had observed a positive feedback loop, a discernible effort by reporting developed countries to take up some of the proposals from previous workshops to develop more focused and more LDC-specific information.
308. One of the cross-cutting issues concerned how to distil from broader reports on overseas development assistance the specific technology transfer component, both in terms of defining particular activities, and in terms of the actual expenditure or the size of the funding behind that component of the activities. One of the continuing themes in that workshop, as in preceding workshops, was exactly how to define the scope of "technology transfer".
309. One other practical aspect concerned the overlap between reporting under item Article 66.2 and the broader process of reporting TRIPS-related technical assistance programmes under Article 67. There were discussions on exactly how to draw that distinction between these two reporting processes as well as comments that there were inevitably overlaps between the two and in some cases those were deliberately reported under both items.
310. He said that there had been a positive and productive spirit in the workshop, and a strong interest in continuing that kind of process to keep the feedback loop working. Unless other procedures were set up, he said that the Secretariat was prepared to organize a similar workshop at the same juncture next year, a particularly important juncture given that 2012 represented the due date for the full detailed report, rather than the updated report from developed countries. He thanked, on the part of the Secretariat, the delegations concerned for their participation and for their efforts in preparing for three very productive mornings' work. He also thanked his colleagues in the IP Division for their hard work and said that their energies where indispensable in making the workshop a success workshop.
311. He said that, from a purely practical and operational point of view within the Secretariat, given its central task of processing and dealing with the information submitted in that process, the increasing use of the material to respond to the demands of technical cooperation in this area, the growing resource implications for the WTO in presenting and formatting this information, and the practical challenges that users of this information had in gaining a synoptic overview of the extensive information submitted in the notifications, there might be some practical value in continuing the discussions about more systematic or more convergent formats and structures for notifications, particularly in view of the fact that it was in the coming year, 2012, that the next batch of new detailed reports fell due. Similar considerations might also apply to the submission of updates and reports under item L on technical assistance, given especially the acknowledged overlap between reports under both items that was discussed at the workshop.