264. The representative of UNCTAD informed the Council that the UNCTAD Expert Meeting on International Arrangements for Transfer of Technology had been held in June 2001 under the umbrella of the UNCTAD Commission on Investment, Technology and Related Financial Issues. The meeting had been a response to the UNCTAD X Bangkok Plan of Action, which had requested UNCTAD to "analyse all aspects of existing international agreements relevant to transfer of technology" and "examine and disseminate widely information on best practices for access to technology". Thus, the Expert Meeting had not been about technology transfer per se, as the need for technology transfer, especially to developing countries, had been recognized in various international fora for some years. Instead, the main issue had been how to enhance the effectiveness of existing international arrangements, or in other words, how to translate good intentions into good practices.
265. He said that, in the past two decades, specific provisions on transfer of technology had been incorporated into several dozen international instruments including the WTO agreements. By UNCTAD's count, there were 35 multilateral and 25 regional and interregional instruments. When bilateral agreements were included, the number of instruments exceeded 80. To help take stock of this large volume, the UNCTAD secretariat had compiled on the occasion of the Expert Meeting a "Compendium of International Arrangements on Transfer of Technology". The provisions on transfer of technology and capacity building in existing international instruments were underpinned by a variety of shared concerns: effective integration of the developing countries in world trade and investment, protection of intellectual property rights and sustainable development. These provisions had different objectives and scope, and different modes of implementation, including the provision of financing, and were subject to different terms and conditions. In most cases, however, such provisions took the form of "best efforts" commitments, rather than mandatory rules. In addition, many technology related provisions relied on national measures for their implementation.
266. He said that the Expert Meeting had reviewed the implementation experience and made various suggestions, which had been considered by the UNCTAD Commission in January 2002. The Commission had produced agreed recommendations (UNCTAD document TD/B/COM.2/L.16). The Commission had recognized that Governments and the private sector had an important role to play in the implementation of commitments, inter alia through public and private partnerships. In this connection, the Commission had emphasized the need for adequate protection of intellectual property in providing incentives for investment and transfer of technology in all countries, taking into account the interests of producers, users and consumers. In its recommendations addressed to Governments, the Commission had noted that the creation of a hospitable domestic regulatory environment for foreign investment, together with intellectual property protection, encouraged access to technology. In this connection, technical cooperation should focus on technological capacity building with a view to enabling beneficiary countries to use intellectual property rights in ways that advanced their national systems of innovation. The Commission had also noted that the setting up of coordination committees at the national or regional level with regard to the interface between commitments in the TRIPS Agreement and national implementation requirements might facilitate the application of the TRIPS arrangements to local innovation needs and to favouring their pro competitive implementation. The Commission had further noted that measures by home countries to promote transfer of technology, especially through FDI in developing countries, should be promoted. In this connection, the Commission had drawn attention to Article 66.2 of the TRIPS Agreement and paragraph 11.2 of the Decision of the Doha Ministerial Conference of the WTO on Implementation-Related Issues and Concerns (WTO document WT/MIN(01)/17). In its recommendations addressed to the international community, the Commission had noted that the TRIPS Agreement should be implemented in a manner that was conducive to transfer of technology, in accordance with its Articles 7, 8 and 40, including by assessing its impact on transfer of technology and capacity building.
267. The Commission had also addressed three requests to UNCTAD. First, UNCTAD should provide assistance to developing countries in strengthening their capacity to discuss and examine transfer of technology issues and to negotiate technology transfer provisions in international instruments. UNCTAD hoped to do this in conjunction with other organizations, including as appropriate, the WTO. Second, UNCTAD should explore ways and means for effective implementation of international commitments in the area of transfer of technology and capacity building and assist interested countries by undertaking a needs assessment with regard to the interface between commitments in the TRIPS Agreement and national implementation requirements. Third, UNCTAD should disseminate information concerning existing home country measures that encourage transfer of technology in various modes to developing countries, in particular LDCs.
268. In this connection and in relation to Article 66.2 of the TRIPS Agreement, the representative of UNCTAD informed the Council that work on home country measures was underway in cooperation with the OECD and some national agencies of home countries. The objective was to outline the existing measures and facilities in home countries aimed at transferring technology to developing countries and in particular LDCs. As necessary, UNCTAD would update the Compendium of International Arrangements on Transfer of Technology. Finally, as reported to the Council under item N on Technical Cooperation, UNCTAD was implementing a project on capacity building in the area of TRIPS. The project aimed at generating a better understanding of the TRIPS Agreement and to strengthen the analytical and negotiating capacity of developing countries in their participation in intellectual property rights related negotiations. This project was being undertaken by UNCTAD jointly with the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development with the support of DFID and SIDA. It would include the preparation of a policy discussion paper, case studies and a resource book conceived as a practical tool for negotiators and policy makers in order to facilitate their informed participation in ongoing as well as future negotiations and decision making processes. In conclusion, he emphasised that UNCTAD welcomed the opportunity to share its experiences with Members of the Council and looked forward to continue contributing to its work