Prolong the transition period for LDCs under TRIPS
Civil society letter to the WTO
More than 370 civil society organisations from around the world concerned with access to medicines, to educational resources, to environmentally sound technologies (ESTs), and to other public goods and cultural creations and further concerned with farmers’ rights, food security, human flourishing, sustainable and equitable technological and industrial development in Least Developed Countries (LDCs) have sent an Open letter to the WTO.
On 5 November 2012 the Delegation of Haiti on behalf of the LDC Group submitted a duly motivated request to the WTO TRIPS Council for an extension of the LDC transition period, until a Member ceases to be a LDC. The request and draft decision will be discussed at the upcoming meeting of the TRIPS Council to be held on 5-6 March in Geneva.
The civil society organisations call on: ● All WTO Members to honour their obligation under Article 66.1 and unconditionally accord to the Least Developed Countries the requested extension; accordingly all WTO Members should support and agree at the upcoming meetings of the TRIPS Council to the draft decision text presented by the LDC Group that: “Least developed country Members shall not be required to apply the provisions of the Agreement, other than Articles 3, 4 and 5, until they cease to be a least developed country Member”. ● WTO Members to not attach to the extension decision any conditions and limitations that limit the policy space and flexibility available to LDCs under Article 66.1 of TRIPS, such as those contained in paragraph 5 of IP/C/40.
POOREST COUNTRIES’ EXTENDED INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY TRANSITION: TIME-LIMITED OR INDEFINITE?
WTO members, meeting on 5–6 March 2013, accepted that the deadline for least developed countries to protect intellectual property generally could be extended beyond the current 1 July 2013 date. But they were still undecided on whether to set a new deadline or leave it until each country “graduates”. >>> more
Weakening of workers' rights in most regions is being aggravated by severe crackdowns on freedom of speech and assembly, according to the 2016 Global Rights Index. Restrictions on freedom of speech and assembly, including severe crackdowns in some countries, increased by 22%, with 50 out of 141 countries surveyed recording restrictions.
The year 2015 was marked on the one hand by the inability of the European Union (EU) to emerge from the crisis, and on the other by a dramatic rise in the number of people taking flight from their homes and from their homelands, because of wars and terrorist attacks, in many cases caused by the destructive policies of the EU and of its member states.
The world economy stumbled in 2015 and only a modest improvement is projected for 2016/17 as a number of cyclical and structural headwinds persist, says the United Nations World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) 2016 report. Global growth is estimated at a mere 2.4% in 2015.
Within a few weeks leftwing governments in Latin America have experienced a breath-taking decline. The Latin American (centre-) left forces suffered several strategic defeats. They occurred in the biggest Latin American economies. First in Argentina, than in Venezuela, and also in Brazil the days of an uncontested majority of left forces are definitely over now.
14 years after their previous strategy on gender mainstreaming, the WBG has decided to develop a new Gender Equality (GE) Strategy. This briefing document presents WIDE+ critical reflections and key recommendations to enhance the new World Bank Group's (WBG) strategy on Gender Equality.