29. The Chairman recalled that the Council, at its meeting in May, had endorsed the Secretariat proposal for a pilot project for a thematic workshop to enable an in-depth discussion of a specific aspect of technical cooperation. It had also been agreed that the topic for the pilot project would be border enforcement and that the Secretariat should seek to organize it in cooperation with the International Bureau of WIPO. The Chairman informed the Council that the Workshop on the Border Enforcement Provisions of the TRIPS Agreement had been scheduled for Wednesday afternoon, 17 September 1996, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., which was immediately before the Council's meeting of 18 September 1996. The Workshop would be organized jointly by the Secretariat and the International Bureau of WIPO and would be held at the headquarters of WIPO. He thanked the International Bureau of WIPO for its willingness to participate in the organization of this workshop and the Governments of Egypt, Hong Kong, Japan and the United States, as well as the Secretariat of the World Customs Organization, for their willingness to provide speakers for this Workshop, to complement the presentations that would be made by the representatives of the WTO and WIPO.
30. The Chairman informed the Council that the WTO Secretariat would organize a workshop on the TRIPS Agreement for officials from the least-developed and other developing Sub-Saharan African countries, which would be financed from the Norwegian Trust Fund. The objective of the workshop was to familiarize officials with the basic concepts, principles and obligations laid down in the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights with a view to facilitating its implementation. The workshop would be conducted in English and would take place in Geneva from 7 to 11 October 1996. Another workshop on the TRIPS Agreement for the same group of countries, to be conducted in French, would be organized in 1997. Invitations to this workshop had been sent to the countries concerned last month and the deadline for applications was 25 July 1996. He drew the attention of those Sub-Saharan least-developed and developing countries that would wish to benefit from this workshop but had not yet nominated any candidates to the need to do so within the coming days.
31. The Chairman recalled that, at the last meeting, he had informed the Council about the letter that he had received from the Chairman of the Committee on Trade and Development, Ambassador Benjelloun-Touimi of Morocco, in which he had been asked to provide information on the work undertaken in the TRIPS Council regarding the implementation of the development-related provisions of the Agreement, as an input into the review which the Committee on Trade and Development was required to hold on the application of special provisions in the various agreements in favour of developing country Members and in particular least-developed country Members. In his reply to this letter, dated 21 June 1996, he had drawn the attention of Ambassador Benjelloun-Touimi to the provisions of the TRIPS Agreement relating to transitional periods and technical cooperation and to the work that the Council had done and was going to do in the area of technical cooperation. The information contained in the letter would no doubt be made available in due course by Ambassador Benjelloun-Touimi, but interested delegations could already obtain copies of the reply from the Secretariat.
32. The Chairman recalled that the Secretariat had prepared, as requested by the Council, in document IP/C/W/22, a summary of the information provided on technical cooperation. This document had been briefly discussed at the Council's meeting in May, but since it had not been available in all languages at that time, the Council had agreed to discuss the document later. He recalled that the Council had agreed that developed country Members would annually update information on their technical cooperation activities relevant to the implementation of the TRIPS Agreement and that in 1996 this would be done in time for the Council's meeting of 18 September 1996. Consequently, the Secretariat had circulated an airgram (WTO/AIR/375), dated 2 July 1996, reminding developed country Members about the need to provide information and also requesting that such contributions be provided by 1 September 1996, so as to enable their timely processing and distribution to Members. He said that a question that had been discussed was whether developed country Members, in presenting an overview of their technical cooperation activities, should be requested to summarize their activities using the headings as used in the summary, i.e. first, human resources; second, assistance in the preparation of laws and regulations; third, institution building; and fourth, other assistance. A number of delegations had expressed a preference for submitting information on their technical cooperation activities as they had done earlier, even though views were also expressed that further consideration should be given to the question of how these headings might be best used in communications about technical assistance programmes.