February 27, 2017

Opening Statement by Indonesia on behalf of the Asia and Pacific Group The 33rd Session of IGC

Thank you Mr. Chair,

Indonesia has the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Asia & the Pacific Group. A dynamic region characterized by its growth, diversity and progress.

Mr. Chair,

We are delighted to see you again. We believe that with your leadership and able guidance, together with the expertise and hard work of the facilitator, we could narrow existing gaps and reach common understanding on the issues at hand.

The Asia & the Pacific Group supports the working methodology and the work program proposed by you. Allow us to also convey our appreciation for the information note you prepared, our group has studied the information note in which you have summarised the work undertaken by the IGC on Traditional Cultural Expression since the text-based negotiations began in 2010.

Asia Pacific Group favours the discussion on the core issues in order to arrive at a common landing zones namely on the issues of Objectives, Beneficiaries, Subject matter, Scope of protection, and Exceptions and Limitations.

How we define Traditional Cultural Expression will lay down the foundation of our work. Most of our members believe that the definition of TCE should be inclusive and capture the unique characteristics of TCE and that it should have a comprehensive definition which does not require separate eligibility criteria. Most of our members are also in favour of a differential level of protection of TCE, and believe, such approach offers an opportunity to reflect the balance referred to in the mandate of the IGC and the relationship with the public domain, as well as balance in the rights and interests of owners, users, and the wider public interest. But some members are in a different position.

Establishing the level of rights based on the characteristic of the TCE could be a way forward towards narrowing the existing gaps, with the ultimate objective of reaching an agreement on international instruments which will ensure the balanced and effective protection of TCE, in addition to protection of Genetic Resources and Traditional Knowledge.

Mr. Chair,

On the issue of Beneficiaries, our group agree that the main beneficiaries of this instrument are indigenous and local communities. Some members of our group have a different position, however most of the members of the Asia & the Pacific Group are of the view that it is pertinent to address the role of other beneficiaries in accordance with national law, as there are certain circumstances in which TCE cannot be specifically attributable to a particular local community or indigenous community.

On the issue of the scope of the protection, most of the Asia and the Pacific Group are in favour of providing maximal possible protection for TCEs, depending on the nature of characteristics of the TCEs. A differentiated protection approach offers an opportunity to reflect the balance referred to in the mandate of the IGC and the relationship with the public domain, as well as the rights and interests of owners and users. Where both exclusive economic rights and moral rights-based model could be appropriated to various TCEs.  Most of our members also believe that some form of economic rights in case of research and development, including the concept of Prior Informed Consent, Mutually Agreed Terms and Access Benefit Sharing should be included while providing protection to such widely held TCEs. But, some members have a different position.

On exceptions and limitations, it is of fundamental importance to ensure that the provisions should be considered in a balanced way between the specific situations of each member state and the substantive interests of TCEs holders. Hence, exceptions and limitations should not be extensive so that it will compromise the scope of protection.

Mr. Chair,

Some members have a different position, however most of the members of the Asia Pacific Group would like to reiterate that there is a need for a legally binding instrument or instruments providing effective protection of Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Traditional Cultural Expression.

Mr. Chair,

Before concluding, our Group would like to express its appreciation for the leadership provided by you Mr. Chairman and the Vice-Chairs in the previous 4 sessions of IGC. We would also like to thank the Secretariat for meticulous preparations for this session.

Please be assured of our group’s full support and cooperation in rendering this session of IGC a success. The Asia and the Pacific Group remains committed to engage constructively in negotiating a mutually acceptable outcome.

We are hopeful the discussions in this session would lead to visible progress in the work of this committee.

I thank you, Mr. Chair.



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