Cablegate: Got Response On Doha Declaration On Trips And

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.




E.O. 12958: N/A
SUBJECT: GOT Response on Doha Declaration on TRIPS and
Public Health

Ref: State 245178

Oya Karakas, Head of Department in the MFA General
Directorate of Multilateral Economic Affairs, sent
Embassy the following reply on the issue of compulsory
pharmaceuticals licensing for countries facing public
health crises. The Turkish position notes that these
provisions are aimed at the least developed countries,
but does not positively respond to the U.S. proposal
that OECD countries opt out of the right to become a
beneficiary importer.

Begin Text MFA Reply:

December 2002

The relationship between the TRIPS Agreement and public
health is an important issue. Given the pressing urgency
of the public health problems of certain countries and
the potential threats faced by some others, an
expeditious solution should be found as soon as
possible, as foreseen in the paragraph 6 of the Doha
Ministerial Declaration.

We recognize the importance of public health and the
legitimate concerns of some countries in this area.
Public health cannot be discussed only in terms of trade
concerns and economic interests, its social and
humanitarian dimension should also be taken into account

However, this issue should not either be a pretext to
undermine the protection of patent rights. We attach
great importance to the principles of the TRIPS
Agreement and the international norms in the field of
intellectual property protection.

As we have expressed on several occasions, we believe
that the TRIPS Agreement provides members with enough
room for flexibility in case of emergency situations.
Therefore, while conducting negotiations to fulfil the
mandate of paragraph 6, existing possibilities within
the Agreement should be taken into account and examined.
In case of a deficiency, further measures should be
sought in order to enable these countries to solve their
public health problems. Nevertheless, these measures
should also contain safeguards to prevent abuse.

As a developing country, we have certain sensitivities
regarding public health and developing countries have
different concerns regarding their public health policy.
These concerns should be addressed in a satisfactory

In our view, the development aspect is one of the main
elements of the WTO negotiations; therefore the concerns
of developing countries should be given sufficient
attention. Needless to say, the least-developed
countries are the primary focus of our task and at this
stage there should not be discrimination among them.

While conducting negotiations on this issue, the
existing WTO framework and structure should be taken
into account and we should not create new categories.
Currently, WTO members are classified in three groups:
namely developed, developing and least-developed
members. We are against creation of new categories, such
as OECD countries.

If developing members with high income per capita are to
be granted certain flexibilities as the outcome of these
negotiations, other developing members with a lower
level of income per capita cannot be excluded from this
End Text.

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