311. The Chairman recalled that, at its meeting in October 2011, the TRIPS Council had agreed to forward to the General Council a proposal for a decision to extend the period of acceptance by Members of the Protocol Amending the TRIPS Agreement until 31 December 2013 (document IP/C/58). Pursuant to this proposal, the General Council had decided, at its meeting of 30 November 2011, to further extend the period for acceptances of the Protocol until 31 December 2013 or such later date as may be decided by the Ministerial Conference (document WT/L/829).
312. As regards the status of acceptances of the Protocol Amending the TRIPS Agreement, since the Council's meeting in October, the following Members had deposited their instruments of acceptance: Cambodia, Panama, Costa Rica, Rwanda and Honduras (documents WT/Let/833, 837, 838, 839 and 843, respectively). To date, 42 instruments of acceptance had been deposited, including the one from the European Union and its member States. The Secretariat had circulated an update to the note on the status of acceptances of the Protocol Amending the TRIPS Agreement in document IP/C/W/490/Rev.9.
313. He urged those Members that had not yet notified their acceptance of the Protocol to ensure that necessary measures are being taken in capitals to allow the consideration of the acceptance in a timely fashion.
314. As regards the issue of transition period for LDCs, he recalled that, at its meeting on 17 November 2011, the TRIPS Council had agreed to submit a text concerning that matter to the General Council with the recommendation that it be forwarded to the Eighth Session of the Ministerial Conference for its consideration (paragraphs 3-4 of IP/C/59/Add.2).
315. Pursuant to this, Ministers had invited the Council to give full consideration to a duly motivated request from least developed country Members for an extension of their transition period under Article 66.1 of the TRIPS Agreement, and report thereon to the WTO Ninth Ministerial Conference. This decision of the Eighth Session of the Ministerial Conference had been circulated in document WT/L/845.
316. Noting that no such request had yet been received, he said that he would naturally be available to facilitate work on any such request that might be submitted.
317. As regards accessions to the WTO, he said that the General Council had approved the accession package of Vanuatu on 26 October 2011. The Eighth Ministerial Conference held on 15 17 December 2011 had adopted the packages of accession of the Russian Federation, Samoa and Montenegro. The relevant decisions could be found in documents WT/L/823, 839, 840 and 841, respectively. In keeping with WTO provisions, Vanuatu, the Russian Federation, Samoa and Montenegro would become Members 30 days following the dates of their ratification of their respective protocols of accession.