63. The representative of Australia said that the issue of genetic resources was important for her delegation because Australia was in a unique position of being both a developed country and a megabiodiverse country. Australia had implemented an access and benefit-sharing regime pursuant to its obligations under the CBD. She informed the Council that there had been a significant uptake of the regime in the past two and a half years as 80 permits had been issued for access to Commonwealth and State resources and four access and benefit-sharing contracts had been concluded with both Australian and foreign research institutions. She said that, like the United States, New Zealand, Canada, Korea and Japan, Australia continued to support discussions in the TRIPS Council on these issues but did not support moving to negotiations. Like New Zealand, her delegation was not actually convinced that the solutions proposed would actually address the concerns raised.
64. She said that the issue of GI register was a matter for negotiation in the TRIPS Council's Special Sessions and her delegation was keen and willing to continue negotiating in that forum. She urged the Members, who supported to include the GI register and other TRIPS issues in the horizontal process, to make proposals in the Special Session and to contribute to the successful conclusion of the negotiations on GI register. Regarding GI extension, she said that there existed a mechanism by which the Council could address GI issues, that is, under the agenda item on the review of Article 24.2, which had been underutilized by the Council. She reiterated her delegation's willingness to walk through the provisions of the TRIPS Agreement on GI issues, which would allow an analysis and discussions of the obligations contained in the Agreement and an assessment of deficiencies. It would be valuable in informing discussions elsewhere in the WTO. In conclusion, she said that if Members were interested in further information on the outstanding implementation-related issues, including to understand some of the different perspectives, she referred them to the Director-General's report, which summarized Members' positions and the state of play on these issues, especially the opposition to the artificial parallelism inherent in the proposal.