The purpose of the workshop was threefold: to facilitate communication between LDC members and developed country members; to promote the effective implementation of Article 66.2 of the TRIPS Agreement on technology transfer to LDCs; and to enable LDCs to create a sound and viable technological base essential for addressing current and future challenges.
Ambassador Xolewla Mlumbi-Peter of South Africa, the TRIPS Council chair at the time, opened the event stressing the importance of technology and innovation in the global economy, especially in addressing human needs for improved health, food security, water and energy. She also said that the role of technology in development has attracted increased attention in recent years, particularly around the question of how to bridge the technological gap between countries with different levels of industrial capacity.
Ambassador Ahmad Makaila of Chad, on behalf of the LDCs Group, thanked the developed country members who submitted annual reports and who have participated in these workshops since 2008. He indicated that modest progress has been made but much remains to be done. The COVID-19 pandemic has proven the importance of technology transfer for development and the use of technology by vulnerable countries like LDCs.
In his closing remarks, Ambassador Mustafizur Rahman of Bangladesh indicated that these annual events were a unique opportunity for informal dialogue between LDC members and developed country members on ensuring the right kind of technology required for each individual LDC member. He also stressed the importance for LDC members to provide country specific information to identify gaps and specific technology needs.
This year's virtual workshop focused on four specific fields of technology transfer critical for sustainable development, namely health, agriculture, the environment and information and communications technology. The WTO Secretariat prepared a summary on the 604 technology transfer programmes reported by nine developed country members in the period 2018-2020 with a focus on the four specific fields. The summary presented a vast amount of information in an accessible way to support exchanges between LDCs and developed countries on the best approach for efficient implementation of Article 66.2. The Secretariat also conducted a survey on LDC needs and priorities for technology transfer, with a view to assisting members' better awareness of current areas of priority for technological development.
The event also significantly benefitted from presentations made by experts from partner organizations, including the United Nations Technology Bank for LDCs, the World Intellectual Property Organization, the World Health Organization, the International Telecommunication Union, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, as well as from the WTO's Trade and Environment and Agriculture and Commodities Divisions.
As part of the programme, LDC participants attended the TRIPS Council meeting that took place on 10-11 March 2021, where they participated in the Council's 18th annual review of the implementation of Article 66.2 of the TRIPS Agreement.
List of participants
|ANGOLA||Augusto Sebastião MIRANDA|
|ANGOLA||Catarina Mazunguidi N Kiala NGONE|
|BANGLADESH||Nihar Ranjan BARMAN|
|BURKINA FASO||Lodouba KOHIO|
|BURKINA FASO||Diloma SOMA|
|THE GAMBIA||Abdoulie COLLEY|
|GUINEA||Saikou Yaya BALDE|
|MADAGASCAR||Naharisoa Oby RAFANOTSIMIVA EP RANJAKANIMARO|
|MADAGASCAR||Felamanitriraisana RALAIARY EP RANIVONDRAHONA|
|MADAGASCAR||Diana Irina ZAFIARIVELO|
|MYANMAR||Seint Thanda TUN|
|MYANMAR||Pwint Phyo WIN|
|MYANMAR||Aye Thiri WAI|
|ZAMBIA||Gabriel Mulenga MWAMBA|
|ZAMBIA||Macpherson Mapenzi MUNSANJE|