Oxfam reaction to the WTO decision on the extension of the transition period of TRIPS implementation to LDCs

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) by eight more years. The deal was reached after months of intense negotiations and immense pressure from the rich countries.

The decision means that Least Developed Countries (LDCs) will have 8 years space to access medical technologies such as diagnostics and medical devices. However, the compromise deal falls short of the LDCs’ request for extension until a country ceases to be an LDC.

Oxfam and other campaigning organizations have supported poor countries in resisting the pressure from the US and EU who pushed for an even shorter period.

Oxfam spokesperson Mohga Kamal-Yanni said: "This is better than nothing but short time extension does not allow LDCs to build up their own technological and knowledge base, and the laws and regulations necessary for implementation of the TRIPS agreement – let alone to benefit from such implementation. We supported LDCs’ request because they need the space to implement intellectual property systems appropriate for their development needs.

“It is shameful that rich countries opposed the fair request of the LDCs. We hope that this position is not repeated when the special waiver on medicines expire in January 2016.”

Contact information: 

Sarah Dransfield +44 (0)7767 085636/ sdransfield@oxfam.org.uk

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