18. The representative of Argentina said that the Chair's note would be a very good guide to the substantive debate. Her delegation was committed to working positively and constructively during the course of these negotiations and to endeavouring to reach some form of understanding. Referring to the communication from the EC and their member States (JOB(02)/44), she said that her delegation could not accept the statement in the preambular part of the document that the mandate of the Doha Declaration "develops the already existing mandate of Article 23.4 TRIPS". The wording of Article 23.4 expressly excluded spirits. Therefore, the Doha Declaration could not "complement" any mandate because there was no mandate in that Article. She recalled that the Singapore Declaration per se contained no explicit mention of negotiations relating to Article 23.4. Paragraph 19 of that Declaration stipulated the following: "Bearing in mind that an important aspect of WTO activities is a continuous overseeing of the implementation of various agreements, a periodic examination and updating of the Work Programme is a key to enable the WTO to fulfil its objectives. In this context, we endorse the reports of the various WTO bodies. … We agree to a process of analysis and exchange of information, where provided for in the conclusions and recommendations of the relevant WTO bodies, on the Built-in Agenda issues, to allow Members to better understand the issues involved and identify their interests before undertaking the agreed negotiations and reviews. We agree that: … the work undertaken shall not prejudice the nature of the activity agreed upon (i.e., negotiation or review)." The TRIPS Council's Annual Report of 1997 (IP/C/12), which was adopted by Ministers in Singapore, mentioned in paragraph 27 the following: "In its report (1996), the Council agreed to initiate in 1997 preliminary work on issues relevant to the negotiations specified in Article 23.4 of the Agreement concerning the establishment of a multilateral system of notification and registration of geographical indications for wines, and that issues relevant to a notification and registration system for spirits would be part of this preliminary work (IP/C/8)." Paragraph 34 of the TRIPS Council's Annual Report of 1996 said that "in regard to geographical indications, the Council has agreed that a review of the application of the provisions of the section on geographical indications as provided for in Article 24.2 would take the form outlined in paragraph 27 above, which permits inputs from delegations on the issue of scope, and the Council will initiate in 1997 preliminary work on issues relevant to the negotiations specified in Article 23.4 of the TRIPS Agreement concerning the establishment of a multilateral system of notification and registration of geographical indications for wines. Issues relevant to a notification and registration system for spirits will be part of this preliminary work. All of the above work would be conducted without prejudice to the rights and obligations of Members under the TRIPS Agreement and in particular under the specific provisions of the TRIPS built-in agenda." The same Annual Report mentioned in its paragraph 28 the following: "Article 23.4 calls on the Council for TRIPS to undertake negotiations concerning the establishment of a multilateral system of notification and registration of geographical indications for wines eligible for protection by those Members participating in the system, but does not specify a time-frame for such negotiations." In light of the above-mentioned texts and cross-references, it might be said that the Doha Declaration only established a deadline for negotiations and, in that regard, it might be considered that it had "complemented" the existing mandate under Article 23.4 on wines. Argentina therefore reiterated that if it did not oppose the inclusion of spirits in the ongoing negotiations because it was a political decision by Ministers in Doha, it considered, however, that in the negotiating process Members ought to look at how to include a specific obligation related to a system of notification and registration of geographical indications for wines and spirits so as to create a legal obligation for Members having signed the Marrakesh Agreement. From this perspective, the communication from the EC and their member States (JOB(02)/44) had correctly put in square brackets the term "spirits". That way of proceeding should be used for all the documents of the Special Session until a legal solution was found with respect to that issue. Argentina was also concerned about the second sentence of the preambular paragraph of document JOB(02)/44 and a reference in the same vein in document TN/IP/W/3, stating that the product coverage of the future system should not be prejudged. This would create a distortion of the scope of negotiations and was unacceptable to Argentina bearing in mind the above-mentioned grounds and statements made in the first Special Session. For her country, the Doha Declaration should make it possible to concentrate negotiations on a system for geographical indications for wines and spirits without including other irrelevant issues and thereby delaying, or impeding progress in, the negotiation of the multilateral system. For that reason, the representative of Argentina asked that, before advancing in the substantive discussions, the mandate remain clearly delineated. Finally, she announced that her delegation would make a written contribution in the near future.