98. The Chairman recalled that, as he had indicated in a fax sent to Members on 17 October in preparation for this review, the feedback in his consultations had been that this year's review should follow the standard format. Accordingly, after the introduction of the item and an update on any relevant recent developments, the floor would be open to delegates for comments. As he had also indicated in the fax, in these consultations it had been suggested that Members, in preparing themselves for the meeting, could refer to the records of the discussions that had taken place in October 2010 (IP/C/57 and Corr.1), March 2011 (IP/C/M/65, paras.118-198) and October 2011 (IP/C/61). He also drew attention to the fax that his predecessor had sent out in preparation for the October 2011 review with a list of topics and issues for discussion prepared in the light of earlier discussions and consultations with Members.
99. He said that Members had stressed the importance and value of a substantive review of the system under the Decision (the System) and of Members' experience with it and with alternatives. The records of the past reviews, including the exchange of questions and responses, provided a unique and valuable avenue for greater understanding of this important measure. He therefore encouraged Members to pose further questions and to respond to those questions that had already been posed, to promote this greater understanding.
100. The Chairman said that, during his consultations, some delegations had also reiterated their proposal for an open-ended workshop involving all the key stakeholders. However, views continued to diverge on this proposal.
101. As regards the purpose of the review, he recalled that paragraph 8 of the Decision on the Implementation of Paragraph 6 of the Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health (the 2003 Decision) provided that the Council for TRIPS shall annually review the functioning of the System with a view to ensuring its effective operation and report on its operation to the General Council. Furthermore, the paragraph provided that this review shall be deemed to fulfil the review requirements of Article IX:4 of the WTO Agreement.
102. The Secretariat had circulated a draft cover note for the Council's report modelled on previous years' reports (JOB/IP/6). This draft cover page contained factual information on the implementation and use of the System and on the acceptance of the Protocol Amending the TRIPS Agreement (the Protocol). In accordance with the way that the Council had prepared its past reports, the part of the minutes of the meeting that reflected the discussions held under this agenda item might be attached to the cover note.
103. Paragraph 7 of the cover note contained a list of Members that had notified their acceptance of the Protocol. Since the Council's meeting in June 2012, Chinese Taipei had also accepted the Protocol (WT/Let/870). Paragraph 7 would need to be updated accordingly.
104. The Chair recalled that the Protocol shall 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 2013 or such later date as might be decided by the Ministerial Conference. He encouraged delegations to ensure that necessary measures were taken in their capitals to allow the consideration of the acceptance in a timely fashion.