1. The Chairperson said that a new request had been received from ARIPO, the African Regional Industrial Property Organization. This request, which had been accompanied by information provided by ARIPO with reference to the criteria contained in paragraphs 3 and 4 of the procedures relating to the grant of observer status for international intergovernmental organizations, brought the number of pending requests from intergovernmental organizations to eight, as listed in document IP/C/W/52/Rev.1. The other seven requests, which had already been considered at previous meetings, were from the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf, EFTA, the OAS, the OIV, the Organization of the Islamic Conference, SELA and SIECA. She recalled that in respect of these Organizations the Secretariat had, as agreed at the Council's meeting of 15 July 1997, sent a letter to each Organization requesting information relevant to the criteria contained in paragraphs 3 and 4 of the procedures relating to the grant of observer status for international intergovernmental organizations. So far, of these Organizations, a response had only been received from EFTA. In the light of informal consultations held on this matter, she proposed that the Council revert to the pending requests for observer status at its next meeting.