13.1. The Chairman noted that key delegations continued to be constructively engaged in informal consultations at Ambassadorial level. More time was needed in order to reach an agreement. He therefore proposed that the Council keep open this agenda item in order to reconvene once further work was sufficiently mature with a view to the Council taking a decision.
13.2. The Council so agreed.
13.3. At the Council for TRIPS' reconvened formal meeting of 6 November 2015, the Chairman recalled that the item had been put on the agenda at the written request of the delegation of Bangladesh on behalf of the LDC Group. The request was also the object of a communication from Bangladesh on behalf of the LDC Group (document IP/C/W/605). It had initially been introduced under "Other business" at the Council's February meeting. A first substantive discussion had taken place at the Council's meeting in June 2015 when the Council had requested the Chair to consult on this matter before this meeting. Since then, he had convened three informal small group meetings in early July, in mid-September, and on 1 October. Also, in his absence from Geneva last month, the interim Chairman, Ambassador Suescum from Panama, had convened another informal small group meeting on 12 October and had been actively in touch with interested delegations. He had also held an informal open-ended meeting of the Council for TRIPS on 14 October 2015 to inform all delegations about the state of play of the discussions and thus to ensure transparency.
13.4. At the Council's formal meeting held on 15-16 October, the Chairman had reported that interested delegations were working constructively together with a view to reaching an agreement. He had noted that important meetings were being held at Ambassadorial level between key delegations. He had also noted that more time was needed to allow them to reach an agreement. The Council had then agreed to the Chairman's proposal that the discussion under this item be suspended and that the meeting be reconvened once sufficient progress had been made for the Council to take a decision.
13.5. Since then, key delegations had informally agreed on textual proposals for a draft decision to extend the transition period for LDCs and for a recommendation of a draft waiver decision to be adopted by the General Council. Advance copies of these texts had been faxed by the WTO Secretariat to all Members on 2 November 2015, together with the invitation for this meeting. The proposals had also been circulated in documents JOB/IP/15 and JOB/IP/16.
13.6. The Chairman then outlined the essential elements of what key delegations were proposing:
• the draft decision on the extension of the transition period under Article 66.1 of the TRIPS Agreement for least developed country Members for certain obligations with respect to pharmaceutical products (JOB/IP/15). This decision, proposed to be adopted by the Council, would provide for an extension of the transition period for least developed country Members until 1 January 2033 or until such a date on which they cease to be a least developed country Member, whichever date is earlier. During this period, Members concerned would not be obliged to implement or apply the sections of the TRIPS Agreement regarding patents and the protection of undisclosed information, nor to enforce rights provided under these sections, insofar as pharmaceutical products are concerned; and
• the draft recommendation regarding a decision to waive the obligations under Articles 70.8 and 70.9 of the TRIPS Agreement (JOB/IP/16). This recommendation for a decision to be adopted by the General Council would exempt least developed country Members from the otherwise applicable obligations under paragraphs 8 and 9 of Article 70 of the TRIPS Agreement, also until 1 January 2033, or until such a date on which they cease to be a least developed country Member, whichever date is earlier. Members concerned would thus not be obliged to make available mailbox applications and exclusive marketing rights during the transition period.
13.7. He said that both the draft decision and the draft recommendation had been discussed at an informal meeting of the Council earlier that day. In light of those discussions, he suggested that the Council adopt the decision to extend the transition period for LDCs (document JOB/IP/15), and the recommendation to the General Council to adopt the waiver decisions regarding Articles 70.8 and 70.9 of the TRIPS Agreement (document JOB/IP/16).
13.8. The Council so agreed.
13.9. The Chairman thanked all the delegations involved in the consultations for their hard work and considerable efforts, as well as those delegations which, although not directly involved, had provided support and counsel in the course of the consultation process. He extended his particular thanks to Ambassador Suescum for his availability to replace him in his absence from Geneva and, in particular for his significant contribution to this process. He also expressed his gratitude to the Secretariat, which at all times had been working alongside the process.
13.10. The representatives of Bangladesh on behalf of the LDC Group, the United States, Uganda, Tanzania, Lesotho, Nepal, Myanmar, Barbados on behalf of the ACP Group, Haiti, India, European Union, China, Chinese Taipei, Japan, Switzerland, Canada, Norway, Australia, Brazil, South Africa, Holy See, Chile, New Zealand, Turkey, and Pakistan took the floor.
13.11. The Council took note of the statements made.