Compte rendu ‒ Conseil des ADPIC ‒ Afficher les détails de l'intervention/la déclaration

Ambassador Choi Hyuck (Korea)
169. The Chairman recalled that, in August 2004, the Maldives had submitted a request for an extension of its transition period under Article 66.1 of the TRIPS Agreement for a further five years (IP/C/W/425). This document set out in an annex the motivation of the request, as called for by Article 66.1. He recalled that the CTD had at the same time discussed issues relating to the Maldives' graduation from its status as a least-developed country. As the Council had been informed at its March meeting, the United Nations' General Assembly had adopted a decision on 20 December 2004 concerning the Maldives' graduation, the effect of which was that the Maldives would retain its LDC status until 20 December 2007. Since the UN had taken that decision, the Maldives had informed the CTD that it wanted the UN to re-examine its position concerning this recent decision to graduate the Maldives from LDC status because of the devastating effects of the December tsunami on its economy (WT/COMTD/52). 170. As concerned the specific request that the Maldives had submitted to the TRIPS Council, the Government of Maldives had recently clarified that its request for an extension of the TRIPS transition period was intended to be independent of any consideration with regard to the issue of its graduation form the UN's list of least-developed countries, and that the request was based solely on Article 66.1. In the light of this clarification provided by the Maldives and discussions between the Secretariat and a representative of the Maldives, the Chairman said that it was his understanding that the Maldives was requesting an extension of its TRIPS transition period under Article 66.1 for the remainder of the period that, under the present UN Decision, it remained on the list of LDC countries, that is for the period of 1 January 2006 to 20 December 2007. 171. The Chairman said that in his consultations with Members he had received positive reactions to the question of whether Members would be ready to agree to extend the Maldives' transition period under Article 66.1 until 20 December 2007 at the present meeting. Although some delegations had said that the request provided fairly limited information to support the request, they could consider the Council granting the extension on that basis, given the exceptional circumstances in the Maldives that were known to all delegations, namely the devastating effects of the December tsunami on its economy. The point had also been made that any decision on this matter should be without prejudice to how the Council would handle any future requests for an extension. 172. In the light of this positive reaction and to facilitate the Council's consideration of the request, the Secretariat had made available a draft decision on this matter the previous day. Since then, some delegations had suggested the inclusion of an additional provision in the preamble along the following lines: "Recognizing the exceptional circumstances faced by the Maldives and that this Decision is without prejudice to future decisions of the Council for TRIPS under Article 66.1." The Chairman proposed that the Council adopt the draft decision with this additional preambular provision.

1 The decision on "Maldives – Extension of the Transition Period under Article 66.1 of the TRIPS Agreement" was subsequently circulated in document IP/C/35.