126. The representative of the Secretariat said that the Council's 2005 decision called upon the Secretariat to enhance its cooperation with WIPO and other relevant international organizations in order to assist LDC Members. The Secretariat had therefore consulted with LDC Members to develop a tailored process to assist in identifying individual priority needs and to foster coordination of responses to the needs identified. In particular, at the request of the LDC Group made at the Council's meeting on 8 June 2009, the Secretariat had arranged a series of regional workshops and Geneva-based symposia for LDC Members to identify and discuss individual priority needs and to coordinate an effective, system-wide response to those needs.
127. The Secretariat was planning to hold a Symposium on LDC Priority Needs for Technical and Financial Cooperation from 31 October to 2 November at the WTO. The Symposium followed a series of workshops convened regionally and in Geneva. To facilitate participation of capital-based officials, the Symposium was scheduled to run back-to-back with the Council's meeting of 6 7 November. Based on the experience of the past activities in that series, he encouraged the participation of capital-based officials with responsibilities for coordinating, planning and delivering technical cooperation activities relevant to TRIPS implementation, as this would enable a degree of practical outcomes that was difficult to achieve otherwise. The Secretariat would follow up with interested delegations accordingly. LDC Members had also pointed out the need for sufficient funding of capital-based officials responsible for needs assessments and technical cooperation in their countries. In view of funding constraints, the Secretariat was looking for further sources of funding and would value any suggestions from individual Members in this regard, as this would make a significant difference to the practical impact of the activity.
128. The forthcoming Symposium formed part of this on-going process, and was being planned in consultation with key stakeholders, including LDC Members, and relevant international and regional organizations. The Symposium would aim at strengthening the flow of practical information and coordination with intergovernmental organizations and other providers of technical and financial assistance, and at updating information on the identification of priority needs and the responses given to them. It would provide a platform for cooperating partners to share experiences regarding the needs assessment process, as well as information on on-going activities and outstanding needs to complete the process.
129. Past symposia in the series had concentrated on sharing information in an ad hoc way on current projects or programmes that were relevant to the identification of individual priority needs, or that would respond to such needs when they had already been identified. To ensure that the participants in the Symposium were working from the best information base, the Secretariat was attempting to collate this information this time in a more systematic and timely way, so that the Symposium might be more effective as a practical coordination mechanism. To simplify the process, the information to be provided needed only be general in character, effectively an identification and brief description of relevant programmes, rather than any detailed description. This gathering of information for the workshop was based on the experience with past workshops, and was not intended to replace or substitute for the regular reporting exercise to the Council or any other processes of the Council, although in practice the relevant Members might draw on the same background information.
130. As part of the preparation of the Symposium, the Secretariat had also discussed with the LDC Group the possibility of preparing an informal information resource for LDC Members which would provide an overview of the state of implementation of the Agreement in LDCs and analyse the relevance of reported technical assistance programmes for diverse aspects of the implementation in a systematic and accessible form. As an informal information resource to assist participants in the Symposium, this material would not be linked to the Council's discussion of that matter, but it was a possibility – if it was indeed feasible to prepare it, which had not yet been confirmed - that it would assist Members in gaining a practical understanding of the state of play.