251. The representative of Uganda said that the reasons given by Zambia as to why the LDC Group should be exempted from applying certain obligations under the TRIPS Agreement reflected the present conditions in Uganda. Uganda, therefore, fully supported Zambia's statement. The ten-year exemption for LDCs had been granted in recognition of the economic, financial and administrative constraints faced by LDCs that prevented them from observing immediately all the obligations set out in the TRIPS Agreement. The LDC exemption also reflected the fact that LDC Members had special needs and requirements, including the need for flexibility to create a viable technological base.
252. During the last ten years, Uganda had already taken steps towards implementing the obligations set out in the Agreement. However, Uganda's economy had continued to be vulnerable, and its economy's performance had been greatly undermined by the continued declining prices of its commodities in the international markets. It continued to face negative terms of trade, and continued to struggle to diversify its economy to be able to fight and alleviate the prevailing poverty. Uganda had, therefore, been unable to develop an adequate technological base to fully derive benefits from the TRIPS Agreement.
253. He added that the cost of developing an appropriate institutional infrastructure to implement the Agreement was substantial. There was neither sensitivity towards IPRs and their benefits nor developed institutions, and the generally weak human resource base would require both extensive and intensive training, including of judges, police, and other IPRs stakeholders. This would require huge resources and additional time for mobilizing the required human and financial resources to bring the domestic legal systems and other infrastructure into conformity with the provisions of the TRIPS Agreement. In Uganda, incomes remained low, human resources weak and the economy vulnerable. LDCs had fallen deeply into poverty and despair, and lacked the necessary human and technical capacity to implement their obligations. Therefore, they would need to be assisted to achieve some level of development that would help them implement their obligations under the Agreement.
254. In view of the continuing and deteriorating economic, financial and administrative constraints faced by Uganda and other LDCs, as well as the need for flexibility to create a viable technological base in accordance with Article 66.1 of the Agreement, the representative of Uganda urged all Members to accord the joint request for extension a favourable response. He hoped that during this additional transitional period there would be commitment by the developed country Members, as envisaged under Article 67 of the Agreement, to provide technical and financial assistance to LDCs to assist them in setting up all the necessary infrastructures to fully implement the Agreement. Uganda also regarded the requested period instrumental in allowing it to build the necessary domestic institutions and legal framework to implement the Agreement.