Note on state of WTO negotiations

December 13, 2002

The chairman called a small group of countries for a meeting yesterday evening. The news is not great.

Despite somewhat more convergence on the legal mechanism and country eligibility, the negotiations are still stuck because of the scope of diseases. The US backed by Canada and Australia reintroduced a proposal on infectious diseases. Worse, the EU said "let's look at a language that will take care of the concerns expressed by the United States."

Consultations are continuing. The chair is expected to provide a new draft early next week and the General council will be reconvened on Friday the 20th to hear the report from the TRIPs council.

It seems that the strategy is to drag on with negotiations to put more pressure on weakening developing countries via their capitals.

But the negotiators [are]in good spirit and . . . need needed all our support via the press and our lobbying capacities to coutneract the US pressure.

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