118. The Chairman recalled that, at its meeting in October 2010, the Council had conducted its annual review of the "Decision on the Implementation of Paragraph 6 of the Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health" ("the Decision"). The record of that discussion had been annexed to the TRIPS Council's report to the General Council (IP/C/57 and Corr.1).
119. As requested by the TRIPS Council, he had held consultations with a number of Members on follow-up to the review, including the question of a workshop and various other proposals. All delegations he had consulted had agreed that the annual review had been very useful and constructive. However, at the same time, many delegations had felt that the discussion had not been fully exhausted. The consultations had confirmed the broad support for following up open questions and outstanding issues at the present meeting. Consequently, the item had been placed on the agenda.
120. In the course of the annual review, a number of delegations had said that they hoped to further share national experiences, and some delegations had referred to some general or specific issues that they wished to explore in greater detail. During his consultations, some delegations had re-confirmed their intention to provide additional information on some of the specific issues that had been identified during the annual review.
121. In light of those consultations, he said that he had requested the Secretariat to prepare a list of issues that Members had identified at the Council's October meeting as requiring further discussion or information so as to help Members prepare for the present follow-up discussion. This list had been faxed to Members on 16 February 2011. It highlighted these issues on the basis of the record of the annual review. However, he said that if there were also some other issues that Members would wish to follow up, they should feel free to address them.
122. The Chairman said that, during his consultations, some delegations had reiterated their proposal for an open-ended workshop involving all the key stakeholders. However, views continued to diverge on this proposal. According to the proponents, now that the Council had had a productive discussion on these matters at its October meeting, such a workshop would allow for information gathering directly from industry and other stakeholders, and would usefully complement the work carried out by the Council.
123. Some other delegations, however, had reiterated that this was a Member-driven process, and underlined that the outstanding issues should first be followed up amongst Members and that an open ended workshop remained premature at this stage. They had reiterated that the outstanding issues were part of a Member driven process that had to be followed up amongst Members first.
124. It had also been suggested that the Council could dedicate sufficient time to the next annual review at its October meeting later in the year.
125. The Chairman recalled that, at the previous annual review, the Secretariat had briefed the Council on the procedural requirements of acceptance. In order to further assist Members in drawing up their instruments of acceptance, the Secretariat had promised to make the information, together with a model instrument of acceptance, available in writing. This information was now available on a new webpage on "How to Accept the Protocol Amending the TRIPS Agreement" ("the Protocol").4 This could be accessed through the dedicated gateway page on "TRIPS and Public Health".
126. During the annual review, some delegations had expressed an interest in obtaining information on the implementing legislation that a number of Members had already adopted and notified to the Council. In response to this, the Secretariat had created a new webpage compiling national implementing legislation that had been notified to the Council. The webpage listed those Members that had notified their domestic implementation of the Paragraph 6 System ("System"), and provided links to the relevant documentation. This webpage could also be accessed through the dedicated gateway page on "TRIPS and Public Health".6
127. Updating Members on the status of acceptances of the Protocol that was done at Geneva on 6 December 2005, he said that, since the Council's meeting in October 2010, Croatia had notified its acceptance of the Protocol on 6 December 2010, followed by Senegal on 18 January 2011 (documents WT/Let/747 and 753, respectively). Thirty three notifications of acceptance of the Protocol, including from the European Communities, had been received up to that point. The Protocol was to enter into force for the Members that had accepted it upon acceptance of the Protocol by two thirds of the Members. It was open for acceptance by Members until 31 December 2011, or a later date that may be decided by the Ministerial Conference.