Tuesday, June 18,2024 - 5:46 GMT+7  Việt Nam EngLish 

TRIPS Council finalizes preparations for MC13 

 Tuesday, February 13,2024

AsemconnectVietnam - At a meeting of the Council for Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) on 13 February, WTO members adopted two reports that the Council Chair, Ambassador Pimchanok Pitfield of Thailand, had developed to complete work in Geneva as much as possible before ministers gather in Abu Dhabi on 26-29 February for the 13th WTO Ministerial Conference (MC13).

The reports address two issues the Council has been discussing since the 12th Ministerial Conference (MC12) in June 2022: whether to extend the Ministerial Decision on the TRIPS Agreement (WT/L/1141) to COVID-19 therapeutics and diagnostics, and the Council's current and future work under paragraphs 23-24 of the Ministerial Declaration on the WTO Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic and Preparedness for Future Pandemics (WT/L/1142).
The first report summarizes discussions held since 2022 and recognizes the considerable efforts members have made to support a fact- and evidence-based discussion on paragraph 8 of the MC12 Decision on the TRIPS Agreement regarding its possible extension to cover COVID-19 diagnostics and therapeutics. It also acknowledges that despite these efforts, consensus could not be reached on the extension of the Decision.
The second report notes that the Council for TRIPS will continue its work as directed by the Ministerial Declaration from MC12 to review and build on all the lessons learned and the challenges experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic, and to build effective solutions in case of future pandemics, in an expeditious manner.
The role of intellectual property, and more specifically voluntary licensing, technology transfer, the operation of the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP), geographical limitations of licences and the operation of Article 31(f) of the TRIPS Agreement were noted as areas of interest to members in that context.
The reports were the result of the intense consultations held by Ambassador Pitfield with a number of delegations and group coordinators over the past few months. Both texts will be submitted on 14 February to the General Council at its last meeting before MC13.
Ambassador Pitfield thanked members for their flexibility in reaching consensus and encouraged them to now focus on the preparation of the MC13 outcome document with respect to IP issues. Members underlined the tireless work done by Ambassador Pitfield in bridging members' differences and facilitating consensus to adopt both reports.
Members were not able however to adopt a Council recommendation to MC13 on non-violation and situation complaints (NVSCs) under the TRIPS Agreement. In a Decision on TRIPS non-violation complaints, adopted by ministers at MC12, the TRIPS Council was tasked with examining this issue and proposing recommendations to MC13. Given the lack of consensus, the Chair suggested that this item remains open until members are closer to agreement on this matter.
Non-violation and situation complaints refer to whether and under what conditions members should be able to bring WTO dispute complaints where they consider that another member's action, or a particular situation, has deprived them of an expected advantage under a WTO agreement, even though no obligation under the agreement has been violated.
Source: www.wto.org/english/news_e/news24_e/trip_13feb24_e.htm


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