TWN Info Service on WTO and Trade Issues (Mar11/05)
Positions unchanged on biodiversity issues,
Geneva, 3 Mar (Kanaga Raja) -- A formal meeting of the regular TRIPS Council this week discussed the implementation of the "Paragraph 6" solution in respect of the Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health and three issues related to biodiversity, but saw little change in positions on these issues.
According to trade officials, there was also no
change in the positions of members on the issue of non-violation complaints.
A recommendation on the current moratorium needs to be made by the TRIPS
Council to the next WTO Ministerial Conference, scheduled to take place
On the three related issues of review of the provisions of Article 27.3(b) of the TRIPS Agreement, the relationship between the TRIPS Agreement and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), and the protection of traditional knowledge and folklore, trade officials said that positions remained largely unchanged.
According to trade officials, some delegations welcomed the recently resumed consultations chaired by Director-General Pascal Lamy (on the extension of protection of GIs to products other than wines and spirits and the TRIPS/CBD relationship, under the rubric of implementation-related issues).
According to trade officials, the TRIPS Council also saw a presentation by Japan (as host country) of the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization that was adopted by the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity at its meeting last October in Nagoya.
Trade officials said that there was still no consensus
on whether the CBD Secretariat should be invited to brief the TRIPS
Council, which was why the task of briefing on the Nagoya Protocol fell
to the host country,
Several members reiterated their call for a future briefing by the CBD. Trade officials however pointed out that there was again no consensus on this, as also on whether the CBD should have observer status in the TRIPS Council.
According to trade officials, members that supported the "disclosure" proposal (on amending the TRIPS Agreement to require amongst others patent applicants to disclose the origin of genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge) including Brazil, India, China, Peru, Angola (on behalf of the LDCs), South Africa, Indonesia, Colombia, Turkey, Ecuador and Kenya said that an amendment (of the TRIPS Agreement) is still needed on account of the fact that the Nagoya Protocol and the CBD do not make disclosure mandatory, and that not all WTO members have signed onto the CBD.
Other members including
Also at the TRIPS Council meeting, trade officials
According to trade officials,
According to trade officials, the TRIPS Council also held a discussion on the "Paragraph 6" system, which is aimed at helping developing countries with insufficient or no manufacturing capacities in the pharmaceutical sector to import cheaper generic medicines produced under compulsory licensing.
Trade officials said that the discussion was a follow-up to the annual review of the system that took place at the last meeting of the TRIPS Council last October (see SUNS #7030 dated 1 November 2010).
A number of questions that were posed by members at the annual review of the system last October were compiled into a list for this TRIPS Council meeting.
According to trade officials, some developed members including the European Union and Switzerland, responded to questions on how their laws or regulations dealt with their use of the "Para 6" system as potential exporters, for example, on technology transfer or ensuring that the generic medicines supplied are safe and effective.
Both the World Health Organization and the World Intellectual Property Organization also responded to some questions posed by members.
Some developing countries, said trade officials,
reiterated that the "
Several developed countries also voiced disappointment that potential importing countries did not reply to questions about their experience in using or trying to use the system and any obstacles they faced.
According to trade officials, some developing
countries reiterated their call for a workshop to be held (on the implementation
of the "
Some developed countries, said trade officials, reiterated that the "Para 6" system is for governments to implement and therefore, the experience of governments should be explored first in the TRIPS Council, leaving open the question of whether there should be a broader workshop afterwards.
The Chair, Mr Martin Glass of Hong
Kong-China, at the end of the meeting, handed over the Chairmanship
of the Council to Ambassador Federico A Gonzalez of