[Ip-health] Oxfam statement on the TRIP Council decision on LDCs waiver
mkamalyanni at oxfam.org.uk
Tue Jun 11 07:36:48 PDT 2013
Oxfam reaction to the WTO decision on the extension of the transition
period of TRIPS implementation to LDCs
Rich countries? ideological approach to intellectual property takes
precedence over the needs of poor nations
Geneva, 11 June 2013 - The poorest nations in the world succeeded in
securing a deal to extend the transition period on the implementation of
Trade Related Aspects on Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) after months
of intense negotiations and immense pressure from the rich countries.
Today, WTO members have agreed to provide the Least Developed Countries
(LDCs) with a renewable transition period of 8 years to implement the
TRIPS agreement. The current extension was due to expire on 30th June
Oxfam welcomes this decision which is a recognition of LDCs determination
to protect the interest of their citizens against the opposition of the US
and EU. However, the transition period granted falls short of the LDCs?
request for extension until a country ceases to be an LDC.
An early implementation of the TRIPS agreement would have a grave impact
on access to medical technologies, educational resources, seeds and
climate change adaptation technologies. LDCs need enough time to build a
technological and knowledge base, as well as a strong regulatory framework
before they can implement - let alone benefit - from TRIPS. Therefore,
LDCs need the flexibility to design IP and innovation policies appropriate
to their policy priorities and level of economic development. LDCs are the
most vulnerable part of the international community. More than half of the
population in LDCs live on less than $1.25 per day.
Rich countries, led by the US and EU, have consistently tried to water
down the original LDCs request for an extension, pushing for a short term
extension and requiring LDCs to maintain existing levels of TRIPS
compliance, even if these work against their development needs.
The LDCs requested unconditional extension until a country ceases to be an
LDC but rich countries opposed this request. This opposition was totally
unfair and unnecessary. Instead, the LDCs should be enabled to choose IP
system suitable for their development needs. It is shameful for the US and
EC to push for conditionalities that are not required by the TRIPS
For more information, please contact:
Mohga Kamal Yanni : mkamalyanni at oxfam.org.uk +44 7776255884
Dr. Mohga M Kamal-Yanni
Senior health & HIV policy advisor
John Smith Drive, Oxford, OX4 2JY, UK
Tel: + 44 (0) 1865 472290
UK Mobile + 44 (0)777 62 55 884
Skype Mohga Kamal-Yanni
Follow me @MohgaKamalYanni
Oxfam works with others to overcome poverty and suffering.
Oxfam GB is a member of Oxfam International and a company limited by guarantee registered in England No. 612172.
Registered office: Oxfam House, John Smith Drive, Cowley, Oxford, OX4 2JY.
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