TRIPS Council 8 - 9 June 2021. Agenda item 13 Norwegian intervention. Statement delivered by Mr. Erik Philip Greger SOLBERG, Counsellor
Thank you, Chair.
We thank the proponents for their revised proposal, and for their joint statement.
Quite a few questions have been asked about the original proposal, and answered by the proponents. The discussions last week showed that some Members still have reservations about certain aspects of the proposal.
I like to underline that Norway will not object to starting text based negotiations on this proposal, as well as other proposals that have been submitted or may be submitted in the future. The recent communication from the EU is one such example.
However, the Chair would have the best possible basis for such negotiations if those delegations that would like to propose changes to the different proposals do so in writing. That would allow the Chair to start developing a text on this proposal and texts on other proposals where questions to be resolved are put in square brackets.
We would urge any delegation that have reservations about 669/Rev.1 or would propose alternative provisions to present their proposals in writing as soon as possible. This will assist our work in finding solutions that will assist us in our efforts to reach consensus.
Commenting on 669/Rev.1, although we do recognize that the proponents have made efforts to narrow and clarify the scope of the proposal, Norway remains concerned about its broad coverage. We also question the duration of the proposal, and would suggest that its duration should be limited to a specific time period – to be negotiated – unless explicitly extended by the General Council. That is the common practice for waivers or other decisions that are not permanent. We feel certain that the Membership would extend any such waiver for as long as necessary to fight this pandemic.