[Ip-health] SCP25: Closing Statement of the Republic of South Africa

Thiru Balasubramaniam thiru at keionline.org
Wed Dec 21 02:14:48 PST 2016


SCP25: Closing Statement of the Republic of South Africa
Submitted by thiru <http://keionline.org/user/6> on 21. December 2016 -

On Thursday, 15 December 2016, South Africa delivered this poignant,
closing statement at WIPO's Standing Committee on the Law of Patents (SCP).
Negotiations broke down on the issue of future work, as the European Union
and Group B refused to permit discussions of the Report of the UN
Secretary-General's High-Level Panel on Access to Medicines at future
sessions of the SCP.

According to the WIPO website,

The SCP was created in 1998 to serve as a forum to discuss issues,
facilitate coordination and provide guidance concerning the progressive
international development of patent law. By dealing with clusters of
interlocking issues rather than working in isolation on single issues, it
is intended to provide member states with an effective mechanism for
setting priorities and allocating resources, and ensure the coordination
and continuity of interrelated, on-going work. (Source:

Madam Chair

We align ourselves with the statement of Nigeria on behalf of the Africa
Group. We thank you for your efforts over the past days.

Madam Chair

We as well are quite baffled by the resistance of some developed countries
to discuss issues that clearly fall within the spectra of this Committee.

Madam Chair

It is very important that this Committee continues to discuss problems
identified in the patent system, particularly where such problems threatens
to violate the integrity and legitimacy of the system of patent rights and
related duties.

The just released report of the UN Secretary General’s High Level Panel on
Innovation and Access to Health Technologies has identified such problems,
and serious problems for that matter, and therefore that report deserves to
be discussed in this Committee, at the least, otherwise this Committee will
be abrogating its duties.

We see this failure to reach consensus on future work, particularly on
patents and health, as a loss, especially for developing and least
developed countries which continue to grapple with issues of lack of access
to essential, life-saving medicines, resulting in senseless deaths.

I thank you Madam Chair

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