(For negotiations on competition policy, transparency in government procurement and tradefacilitation also, "explicit consensus" on modalities was required to commence them after the5th WTO session in 2003.This was again a concession to DCs like India).
On TRIPs, Doha Conference agreed to negotiate the establishment of a multilateral systemof notification and registration of geographical indications for wines and spirits as well as theextension of protection of geographical indications to other products (eg Basmati rice,Darjeeling tea etc).. The extension was particularly relevant for India in view of the profusion of important geographical indications relating to Indian export products.(but thesewould need to be negotiated at length).A more important part of the provision on TRIPs was on the issue of public health, whichwent a long way to addressing the concerns of DCs. First, it recognizes the gravity of publichealth problems resulting from HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and other epidemics in poor countries. Second, it stressed the need for wider national and international actions to addressthese problems and for TRIPs to be part of these actions. Third, while recognizing that IP protection is important for the development of new medicines, the ministers agreed thatTRIPs Agreement does not and should not prevent members from taking measures (likecompulsory licensing) to protect public health. For this purpose, the Declaration recognizedexplicitly certain flexibilities in the interpretation of TRIPs commitments, irrespective of theinterests of multinational pharma companies.
Special attention to DCs
The Doha declaration sought to “place the needs and interests” of DCs at the heart of theDoha work programme and took note of the important role of enhanced market access, balanced rules and well-targeted, sustainably financed technical assistance and capacity building programmes for DCs, particularly LDCs.The agreed agenda for trade negotiations that resulted from the Doha conference wascomprehensive and complex. The conference was particularly sensitive to the needs of DCs,and even more of LDCs and have made several firm commitments to assist them. There isgreat potential for the Doha round to conclude with an agreement that considerablyliberalizes the world trading system and meaningfully integrating the DCs and LDCs into it, but it remains to be seen whether that potential will actually be realized.
Cancun Conference 2003
The fifth conference of WTO that was to review the course of negotiations among nations inthe Doha Round and to take the process forward towards a final international agreement wasa failure. It ended without any positive outcome for the following reasons :1. US and EU were unwilling to reduce significantly their domestic subsidies in agriculture,contrary to their undertaking at Doha. In fact, they maintained more or less their existinghigh levels of subsidies through legislative measures in 2002 and 2003.