369. The Chairman recalled that there were 15 pending requests for observer status in the TRIPS Council by other intergovernmental organizations. The list was contained in document IP/C/W/52/Rev.12. While the Council had not recently been able to progress on the issue of permanent observer status, there appeared to be agreement that it could consider whether to grant observer status on an ad hoc meeting-by-meeting basis to any of those IGOs whose requests were pending on the condition that they met the criteria for observers as defined in Annex 3 to the General Council Rules of Procedures.
370. For that purpose, the Council had requested in June 2011 that the Secretariat contact the IGOs with pending requests to update the information they had provided earlier, including on the nature of their work and the reasons for their interest in being accorded observer status.
371. Since then, the Secretariat had received updated information from 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 European Free Trade Association (EFTA), the International Organization of Vine and Wine (OIV), the South Centre, and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Furthermore, the CBD Secretariat had informed the Secretariat that it felt that no update was necessary since it had already renewed its request as recently as 24 November 2010 by means of a letter addressed to the WTO Director-General. This information was available on the Members' website.
372. The Chairman said that, as requested by the Council at its last meeting, he had continued his consultations on the issue of observer status, in particular in light of this updated information. In light of these consultations, he proposed that the Council agree to grant ad hoc observer status on a meeting-by-meeting basis to the Cooperation Council of the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC) and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), and request that he continue his consultations on the requests from the other five IGOs that had recently provided updated information, as well as on the requests from the remaining eight organizations that had not yet updated their information.