India, Brazil, Peru Set To Table Proposed TRIPS Amendment On Biodiversity, according to IP-Watch (link)

May 8, 2006

Washington, D.C., 05 May 2006

A group of countries led by Brazil, India and Peru has indicated that it intends to present a text relating to the discussions at the World Trade Organization (WTO) on biodiversity "in days, not weeks" suggesting an amendment to current trade law, sources say.

Brazil, India and Peru confirmed that they informed the WTO Trade Negotiations Committee on 1 May about their plans for the paper, which would amend the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).

An Indian official said it was premature to discuss the content of the paper but said the group was "trying to take into account the questions and concerns of members as available in their papers and interventions on the issue in the TRIPS Council and in the dedicated consultations." It is not yet clear who will cosponsor the paper, the official said.

The group had worked with the WTO overall trade talks 30 April deadline for establishing modalities in agriculture and non-agriculture market access in mind, but as this deadline had been missed, they had had more time to prepare the text, an official from the group said.

The text could potentially move the WTO consultations on biodiversity and traditional knowledge forward to "text-based" negotiations, which a number of countries, especially developed countries, have taken issue with, saying that the biodiversity discussions at the WTO are not supposed to be text-based.

This is linked to the argument of some member countries that this is not a negotiation issue or even part of the current WTO trade liberalisation talks (known as the Doha Development round), according to several sources. Some countries also argue that moving to a text would be premature, sources said.

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