Report on TRIPS
12th Ministerial Conferences (MC12), held in Geneva.

Geneva, 20 November 2021 (TDI): Members received an oral report submitted by the chairperson of the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS )Council to the General Assembly scheduled for 22-23 November.

The document provides an overview of the discussions held at the TRIPS Council since October 2020, both India and South Africa’s proposal to withdraw from certain provisions of the TRIPS Convention on the Prevention, Prevention, and Treatment of COVID-19 and the European Union Proposal Framework of the General Assembly on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health in the event of a pandemic.

Delegates to commit to same goals

While the report shows that delegates continue to commit to the same goal of providing timely and safe access to universal, safe, effective, and affordable vaccines, it also acknowledges that differences remain in the main questions.

In proposing a waiver application, the report indicates that disagreements continue on the important question as to whether withdrawal is the most effective and efficient way to address the shortage and unequal distribution, as well as access to vaccines and other COVID-19-related products.

In the EU proposal, the report notes that disagreements continue on the critical question of whether this measure is the most effective and efficient way to address shortages and unequal distribution, as well as access to vaccines and other COVID related products.

This means that the TRIPS Council will be kept up to date beyond the General Assembly and possibly up to the Ministerial Conference. Therefore, the Council will continue to provide a forum for delegates to comment on their ongoing discussions and to welcome any possible issues or solutions that they may find to be recommended to ministers before the start of the Ministerial Conference (MC12)

TRIP Council resume in Nov in Geneva

The chairperson announced that the TRIPS Council would officially resume on November 29, noting that it is possible to resume early with a short notice if circumstances warrant it.
Ambassador Sorli encouraged members to continue to participate, adapt, and focus on the outcome.

The role of IP in the context of this epidemic has become the focus of attention as MC12 approaches, and the tangible and intangible results of these discussions will be a strong and positive symbol for the Ministerial Conference and the international community as an organization.

Going forward, Ambassador Sorli will liaise with delegates to ensure that all possible access points before MC12 are used. He stressed that ministers could not be expected to write a solution on a blank sheet during MC12 and commit themselves to doing their best to “ensure that not a stone is left untouched” to find a solution that agrees with all members.