September 20, 2016
Statement of the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Indonesia On Behalf of Like-Minded Group of Countries (LMCs) The 31st Session of IGC Meeting, Geneva, 19 – 23 September 2016
Thank you Mr. Chairman,
It is with great pleasure that I join you here today to continue discussion issues of our mutual concerns. It is my hope that we will have constructive and fruitful discussions throughout the following days of this meeting.
On behalf of the Like-Minded Group of Countries (LMCs), I would like to deliver the followings.
The LMCs invites the Committee to take into account the practical value of establishing the level of rights as determined by the character of the TK in question, along the spectrum of secret, sacred to widely diffused TK, and the their use. We believe that such approach could be a useful tool in the process of determining the characters of TK and designate rights to them accordingly. Recalling the outcome of the Bali Consultative Meeting held in 2014, the differentiated protection in the tiered approach offers an opportunity to reflect the balance the rights and interests of owners and users referred to in the mandate of the IGC. Establishing the level of rights by the character of the TK would provide an opportunity to find convergence on core elements, namely the subject matter of protection, beneficiaries, the scope of protection and the exceptions and limitations. In this regard, we recommend to continue further the discussion on this particular issue.
With respect to the subject matter of protection, the LMCs reiterate its view that definitions of TK in a broad and inclusive sense would be preferable, while recognizing that such definition should also provide a certain level of clarity. Moreover, the distinguishing features of TK, namely “intergeneration”, “maintain” and “develop”, should be maintained as a part of the definition.
The LMCs also maintain their view that the protection granted by the instrument(s) should also extend to the publicly available or widely diffused TK. In this connection, the LMCs also recommend that the question of criteria of eligibility be removed from the subject matter of protection, and consolidate all reference on criteria eligibility within article 3 “Scope of Protection”
On the issue of beneficiaries, it is imperative to address the role of State. Such a role is essential as there are certain circumstances in which TK cannot be specifically attributable to a particular local community or indigenous community. This usually occurs when TK are not specifically attributable or confined to a local community or indigenous community or it is not possible to identify the community who generated them. Under these circumstances, the LMCs suggest that the provision on beneficiaries include State as an administrator. Identification of the beneficiaries is closely related to the scope of the instrument as a whole, as such, reaching a common understanding regarding beneficiaries, including the role of State is of paramount importance.
With regard to the scope of protection, there seems to be converging views that emphasize the need to safeguard the economic and moral interests of the beneficiaries. For this purpose, determining a standard on certain levels of protection that accommodate the rights granted for each TK will ensure that safeguarding is achieved. The safeguards put in place should take into account the nature of the rights by which the extent of protection granted with consideration towards the level of diffusion of the TK.
Other important issues are the exceptions and limitations. On this matter, it would be essential to ensure that the provisions are not too extensive in order to prevent compromising the scope of protection. In light of this, we need to bear in mind the different protections given with respect to TK so as to ensure they are not breached.
I would also like to use this opportunity to reiterate LMCs’ understanding of the need for a legally binding instrument or instruments providing effective protection of Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Traditional Cultural Expression.
Before I conclude this remark, let me once again express our confidence to the Chair and the Vice Chairs in guiding our discussion, and to the work of the Secretariat, to enable us to make progress on the draft Texts of TK.
I thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Geneva, 20 September 2016