TWN Info Service on Health Issues (Feb13/02)
27 February 2013
Third World Network

Dear friends and colleagues,

Please find attached a letter (in English) signed by more than 370 civil society organisations (representing millions) from around the world concerned with access to medicines, to educational resources, to environmentally sound technologies (ESTs), and to other public goods and cultural creations and further concerned with farmers’ rights, food security, human flourishing, sustainable and equitable technological and industrial development in Least Developed Countries (LDCs).

On 5 November 2012 the Delegation of Haiti on behalf of the LDC Group submited a duly motivated request to the WTO TRIPS Council for an extension of the LDC transition period, until a Member ceases to be a LDC (IP/C/W/583). The request and draft decision will be discussed at the upcoming meeting of the TRIPS Council to be held on 5-6 March in Geneva.

In the attached letter the civil society organisations call on:

  • All WTO Members to honor their obligation under Article 66.1 and unconditionally accord to the Least Developed Countries the requested extension. Accordingly all WTO Members should support and agree at the upcoming meetings of the TRIPS Council to the draft decision text presented by the LDC Group that: “Least developed country Members shall not be required to apply the provisions of the Agreement, other than Articles 3, 4 and 5, until they cease to be a least developed country Member”
  • WTO Members to NOT attach to the extension decision any conditions and limitations that limit the policy space and flexibility available to LDCs under Article 66.1 of TRIPS, such as those contained in paragraph 5 of IP/C/40.

With best wishes,
Sangeeta Shashikant
Third World Network

Civil society letter to members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) concerning a further extension of the transition period for Least Developed Countries (LDCs) under article 66.1 of the TRIPs Agreement