233. The Chairman said that there were 15 pending requests for observer status in the TRIPS Council by other intergovernmental organizations. That list was contained in document IP/C/W/52/Rev.12. While the Council had not been able to progress on the issue of permanent observer status of late, there appeared to be agreement that it consider whether observer status could be granted on an ad hoc meeting-by-meeting basis to any of those IGOs whose requests were pending and who met the criteria for observers as defined in Annex 3 of the General Council Rules of Procedures.
234. To that end, in June 2011 the Council had requested the Secretariat to contact the various IGOs with pending requests, in order to update the information they had provided earlier, including information on the nature of their work and the reasons for their interest in being granted observer status. Since that time, the Secretariat had received updated information from the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), the South Centre, the Conférence des Ministres de l'Agriculture de l'Afrique de l'Ouest et du Centre (CMA/AOC), the Cooperation Council of the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and the International Organization of Vine and Wine (OIV). The relevant information had been faxed to Members and was also available on the Members' website.
235. As requested by the Council at its last meeting, he had consulted with interested delegations on the issue of observer status, in particular in the light of that updated information. It appeared that delegations still needed more time to examine the updated information. Hence, he suggested that he continue his consultations on the requests for observer status with a view to ascertaining whether the Council could take any decisions at its next meeting.