[Ip-health] TWN Statement on Enforcement

Sangeeta ssangeeta at myjaring.net
Fri Sep 30 09:22:35 PDT 2011

Third World Network
Statement on Advisory Committee on Enforcement

Thank you Mr. Chair,
On the issue of enforcement, we would like to recall Recommendation 45 of
Development Agenda which states : ³³the protection and enforcement of
intellectual property rights should contribute to the promotion of
technological innovation and to the transfer and dissemination of
technology, to the mutual advantage of producers and users of technological
knowledge and in a manner conducive to social and economic welfare, and to a
balance of rights and obligations².

Access to knowledge and technology as well as protection of public health
are important drivers of socio and economic development. Its importance is
also recognised under international instruments on human rights.

Hence the international community should ensure that both intellectual
property protection and enforcement should not hamper people¹s access to
knowledge, technology and right to health.

WIPO being a specialised agency should follow follow this principle in
letter and spirit.
Unfortunately,  WIPO¹s approach to enforcement is oblivious to development
challenges and issues.

In this regard, we call on WIPO member states to undertake a review of the 
Global Congress to combat counterfeit and piracy of which WIPO is a
co-organised and to ensure that it complies and is consistent with
development needs and interests.

WIPO member states should review WIPOs¹ role in the Global Congress, and its
approach to IP enforcement. In particular we need to ensure that the WIPO¹s
future engagement on IP enforcement is transparent, is development oriented,
is  inclusive of civil society views and finally is consistent with
Recommendation 45 of the Development Agenda.

We also call upon the ACE to undertake analysis of the socio-economic
impacts of IP enforcement measures that go beyond the minimum obligations of
the TRIPS Agreement  contained in various free trade agreements, in ACTA and
in regional policies such as the EU Directive.

ACE should also undertake analysis of flexibilities available in the TRIPS
agreement to achieve the objective of Recommendation 45.

Finally we would like to highlight our concern with the approach taken to
promote IP enforcement. We find that public health and safety issues are
often used as a front to promote and advance anti-counterfeiting initiatives
that is all about protecting the rights of the IP holders and nothing to do
with protecting public health.

In fact these anti-counterfeiting initiatives and policies have damaging
effects for public health as they undermine access to more affordable
generic medicines.  Seizures of medicine consignments by several European
authorities is evidence of this problem.

We find WIPo is involved in proliferating the conflation of IP and health
issues, a view that is damaging to public health. We strongly urge a review
of this  approach. 

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