Statement by the Delegation of Indonesia at the Council for Trade-Related Aspects for Intellectual Property Rights (Council for TRIPS) – Agenda Item P: Other Business (IPR Enforcement Trends)
Indonesia would like to reiterate its support on the inscription of an agenda item concerning ‘IPR Enforcement Trends’ at the Council for TRIPS. In my delegation’s view, this inscription is not only timely but also highly necessary given the latest developments in IPR enforcement trends in the global trade context.
My delegation is fully aware of the latest developments concerning the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). Some might argue that the ACTA initiative is solely pluri-lateral in nature and therefore does not require any intervention by non-parties. On the other hand, we should also bear in mind that this kind of initiative has the potential to undermine existing global rules, particularly the TRIPS Agreement. In short, in our opinion, the ACTA initiative has failed to keep in line the TRIPS standards and thus undermined the safeguards provided by the TRIPS Agreement.
For Indonesia, the most problematic part of the ACTA arises in the Chapter concerning the Legal Framework for Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights. The points relating to civil enforcement, border measures, criminal enforcement and internet provisions all appear to have intrinsic problems, which we think merit further clarification. The need to illustrate the negative impacts on other Members who are not parties to the Agreement, being a case in point.
My delegation also wishes to point out that the concerns outlined above are not just held by WTO Members. In July 2010, a number of international civil society groups formulated the Berkeley Declaration on Intellectual Property Enforcement and Access to Medicines. The Declaration expressed a deep concern on the ACTA initiative and called for its termination on the basis of its weak substance on legal enforcement practices as well as its exclusive processes. The Declaration also demanded rejection of developing and least-developed countries involvement in the ACTA initiative, citing concerns about the negative impacts on access to generic medicines.
Finally, Indonesia urges WTO Members to refrain from supporting the TRIPS-Plus initiative. This is due to our concerns that the initiative could create a new type of ‘non-tariff barrier’ particularly for developing and least-developed Members. Implementing the TRIPS Agreement is already a challenge itself for some Members, let alone the process of gaining benefits from it.
Therefore, my delegation hopes that the WTO Members will firstly aim to establish a more balanced IP system which is particularly beneficial for developing and least-developed Members. We must remember that poorer countries are still striving for the equal and fair implementation of the IP system and for ways to ensure IP can assist in their economic development. In short, this is a ‘sine-qua-non’ for WTO Members in order to proceed further.