[A2k] WikiLeaks cable details UK/US strategy during IGWG negotiations in 2007

Thiru Balasubramaniam thiru at keionline.org
Tue Feb 8 09:45:00 PST 2011


http://keionline.org/node/1075

WikiLeaks cable details UK/US strategy during IGWG negotiations in 2007
By thiru
Created 8 Feb 2011 - 1:09pm

On 4 February 2011, WikiLeaks passed on to the UK newspaper, The  
Telegraph, a cable dated 1 November 2007 from the US Embassy in London  
entitled "UK AGREES WITH US APPROACH TO UPCOMING WHO INTERGOVERNMENTAL  
WORKING GROUP ON PUBLIC HEALTH, INNOVATION, AND IP [1]" signed off  
with the name "LEBARON". The cable in full can be read on the  
Telegraph website: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/wikileaks-files/london-wikileaks/8304928 
... [1].

The cable describes a meeting that took place in London on 25-26  
October 2007 between USTR functionary Chris Wilson and Will Niblett of  
the UK Department of Health and Andrew Jenner of the UK Intellectual  
Property Office (IPO); now Mr. Niblett is with DFID and Mr. Jenner is  
Director of Trade and Intellectual Property at The International  
Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA)  
[2]. The cable noted that these two delegates from UK Department of  
Health and the UK IPO held the view that "WHO should not assume any  
role in determining international agreements on intellectual property.  
In particular, the WHO should have no decision making role regarding  
patents on medicines. UK DH and UK IPO also agree that the World  
Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is the proper organization  
for IP related issues. UK DH wants the WHO's emphasis to remain on  
public health and not become involved with tangential issues".

The cable did note that the third member of the UK delegation to the  
WHO IGWG meeting in November 2007, Charles Clift (DFID) "might have  
differing views". According to the cable, Niblett and Jenner "made  
clear that there may be limits in the degree to which the UK  
delegation to the IGWG will vocally defend U.S. positions on issues  
such as TRIPS-plus provisions in trade agreements".

The cable states that 'Niblett said that his delegation is "very keen"  
to work with the US and that the UK broadly agrees with the US  
position' by endeavoring to steer the IGWG away from patent issues  
towards public health matters. The cable concludes, "Jenner says that  
NGO's generally side with the developing world on IP issues and  
believe patents hinder developing countries' access to medicines.  
Oxfam and Doctors without Borders are particularly following this  
issue. Jenner stated that DFID tends to be more supportive of the  
developing world at these conferences. Although DFID only compromises  
one-third of the UK delegation, Clift is well-known at the WHO and has  
much experience at IGWG's. It is unclear how much influence he will be  
able exert over the two other members of his delegation".

Below is the cable in its entirety.

"UK AGREES WITH US APPROACH TO UPCOMING WHO INTERGOVERNMENTAL WORKING  
GROUP ON PUBLIC HEALTH, INNOVATION, AND IP
Passed to the Telegraph by WikiLeaks 9:04PM GMT 04 Feb 2011

Ref ID: 07LONDON4102

Date: 11/1/2007 11:45

Origin: Embassy London

Classification: UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY

Destination: 07REFState144926

Header: VZCZCXRO5311RR RUEHAG RUEHDF RUEHIK RUEHLZ RUEHROVDE RUEHLO  
#4102 3051145ZNR UUUUU ZZHR 011145Z NOV 07FM AMEMBASSY LONDONTO RUEHC/ 
SECSTATE WASHDC 6096INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVERUCPDOC/ 
DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC

Tags: ECPS,ETRD,ECON,UK

UNCLAS LONDON 004102 SIPDIS SENSITIVE SIPDIS DEPT PLEASE PASS USTR  
E.O. 12598: N/A TAGS: ECPS, ETRD, ECON, UK SUBJECT: UK AGREES WITH US  
APPROACH TO UPCOMING WHO INTERGOVERNMENTAL WORKING GROUP ON PUBLIC  
HEALTH, INNOVATION, AND IP REF State 144926 SUMMARY: UK delegates from  
HMG Department of Health (UK DH) and the UK Intellectual Property  
Office (UK IPO) agree broadly with the US on the upcoming World Health  
Organization (WHO) intergovernmental working group (IGWG) on public  
health, innovation, and intellectual property. Both UK DH and UK IPO  
state that the WHO should not assume any role in determining  
international agreements on intellectual property. In particular, the  
WHO should have no decision making role regarding patents on  
medicines. UK DH and UK IPO also agree that the World Intellectual  
Property Organization (WIPO) is the proper organization for IP related  
issues. UK DH wants the WHO's emphasis to remain on public health and  
not become involved with tangential issues. However, the third member  
of the UK's delegation, the Department for International Development,  
might have differing views. Both officials made clear that there may  
be limits in the degree to which the UK delegation to the IGWG will  
vocally defend U.S. positions on issues such as TRIPS-plus provisions  
in trade agreements. END SUMMARY

2.(U) USTR representative, Chris Wilson, met with Will Niblett of UK  
DH and Andrew Jenner of UK IPO during a trip to London on October 25  
and 26, 2007. Niblett and Jenner comprise two-thirds of the UK's  
delegation to the November 5-10, 2007 IGWG. The third member of the UK  
delegation will be Charles Clift from the UK Department for  
International Development (DFID). Wilson briefed Niblett and Jenner on  
the US position on the upcoming IGWG.

3.(SBU) Niblett said that his delegation is "very keen" to work with  
the US and that the UK broadly agrees with the US position. UK DH is  
the lead UK agency at the conference. Niblett said that he hopes to  
steer the meetings always from patent issues, because the WHO's  
emphasis should be on public health and not intellectual property. His  
priority will be to keep the conference on track, because the agenda  
is too far-reaching and broad. Jenner's statements broadly matched  
those of Niblett. Jenner added that although public awareness of this  
issue is generally low, NGO's in the UK are very aware of the issue.  
Jenner says that NGO's generally side with the developing world on IP  
issues and believe patents hinder developing countries' access to  
medicines. Oxfam and Doctors without Borders are particularly  
following this issue. Jenner stated that DFID tends to be more  
supportive of the developing world at these conferences. Although DFID  
only compromises one-third of the UK delegation, Clift is well-known  
at the WHO and has much experience at IGWG's. It is unclear how much  
influence he will be able exert over the two other members of his  
delegation. LEBARON"

Source URL: http://keionline.org/node/1075
Links:
[1] http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/wikileaks-files/london-wikileaks/8304928/UK-AGREES-WITH-US-APPROACH-TO-UPCOMING-WHO-INTERGOVERNMENTAL-WORKING-GROUP-ON-PUBLIC-HEALTH-INNOVATION-AND-IP.html
[2] http://www.ifpma.org/News/NewsReleaseDetail.aspx?nID=13296

------------------------------------------------------------


Thiru Balasubramaniam
Geneva Representative
Knowledge Ecology International (KEI)
thiru at keionline.org


Tel: +41 22 791 6727
Mobile: +41 76 508 0997








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