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Cablegate: Nicaragua Unlikely to Support U.S. Position On Ipr Issues

VZCZCXYZ0001
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHMU #2086 2542300
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 112300Z SEP 07
FM AMEMBASSY MANAGUA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1248
INFO RUEHZA/WHA CENTRAL AMERICAN COLLECTIVE
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 0340

UNCLAS MANAGUA 002086

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

USDOC FOR 4332/ITA/MAC/WH/MSIEGELMAN
3134/ITA/USFCS/OIO/WH/MKESHISHIAN/BARTHUR
STATE PASS USTR
COMMERCE PASS USPTO

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KIPR ETRD ECON NU
SUBJECT: NICARAGUA UNLIKELY TO SUPPORT U.S. POSITION ON IPR ISSUES
IN THE WHO

REFS: A. SECSTATE 121503; B. MANAGUA 839

1. Summary: Econoff delivered Ref. A talking points to Ministry of
Trade, Industry, and Development (MIFIC) officials on September 6 to
inform them of the World Health Organization (WHO) Intergovernmental
Working Group (IGWG) process on public health and IPR issues and to
seek their support for pragmatic approaches to counter a negative
IPR agenda expected to be offered by some countries at regional IGWG
consultations in September. MIFIC officials responded that the best
we could hope for is that Nicaragua would remain neutral on this
issue. End Summary.

2. Econoff delivered Ref. A talking points to MIFIC officials on
September 6 to inform them of the WHO IGWG process on public health
and IPR issues and to seek their support for pragmatic approaches to
counter a negative IPR agenda expected to be offered by some
countries at regional IGWG consultations in September. In
attendance for MIFIC were Sonia Somarriba, Director General for
International Trade; Jesus Bermudez, Director for Trade Agreement
Implementation; and Ambrosia Lezama Zelaya, former Director of the
Intellectual Property Registry, now acting as Somarriba's Senior
Advisor on IPR.

3. Zelaya told Econoff that at the IGWG meeting in Ottawa September
20-21, Nicaragua would be unlikely to publicly rebut objections
voiced by others to IPR provisions included in our free trade
agreement. She explained that access to medicines is an extremely
sensitive issue for the Ortega Administration. She added that there
was a severe shortage of medicines in Nicaragua, especially in the
Atlantic coast region recently devastated by Hurricane Felix. She
also noted that the amendment to the TRIPs Agreement to allow
countries to export medicines under compulsory license to countries
lacking local capacity, like Nicaragua, had not yet been approved.
Zelaya promised to consult with Vice Minister Veronica Rojas, but
she believes the best we could hope for is that Nicaragua would
remain neutral on this issue.

4. Comment: MIFIC's core trade team has survived eight months of
the Ortega Administration. Unlike many other ministries that have
been gutted, MIFIC has kept its professional staff. However, these
professionals now operate in a very different political environment
than what existed during the Bolanos Administration. We can expect
them to use their technical expertise to push the Sandinista
economic agenda (Ref. B) through CAFTA-DR and international forums.
End Comment.

End text.

TRIVELLI

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