CSO's Call for an Extension on Enforcing TRIPS

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In short
Civil Society Organizations (CSO’s) in Uganda are calling to the World Trade Organization Council to extent time within which Least Developed Countries (LDC’s) can enforce Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).

Civil Society Organizations (CSO’s) in Uganda are calling to the World Trade Organization Council to extend the deadline within which Least Developed Countries (LDC’s) can enforce Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).
 
The TRIPS agreement to be effected in July 2013 is aimed at harmonizing international standards for all intellectual property rights, regardless of member states technological capacity.
 
WTO TRIPS council meeting next week will be pushing for LDC’s to develop their technology within 5 to 7 .5 years to enforce the law.
In a protest letter to the European Union Mission in Uganda, the CSO’s engaged on issues of trade, intellectual property, education, access to medicines, food and seeds argue that Uganda which is party to TRIPS, should not be rushed to rely on foreign laws but given time to strengthen its product capacity.
 
90% of drugs in Uganda are imported, majority of which are generic versions from India.
 
India grants product patents for drugs and pharmaceuticals, but Uganda which does not, has to rely on importing drugs cheaply to serve its entire population.
 
Primah Kwagala Programmes Manager Centre for Health Human Rights Development (CEHURD) explains that under the TRIPS agreement, Uganda will be forced to buy patent rights from EU and USA, instead of importing or producing the drugs.
 
//Cue in: Quality Chemicals...//
Cue Out:..to oppose’’.//
 
Kenneth Mwehange Programme Officer at the Coalition for Health Promotion and Social Development (HEPS) says the fight against HIV/Aids will be hard hit, since the law will renders ARV’s expensive.
 
Mwehange notes that since the laws apply to seeds, food security and nutrition for Ugandans, especially people living with HIV/Aids could be adversely affected.
 
//Cue in: There are…’’
Cue Out…depend on’’. //
 
Ambassador Nathan Irumba Chief Executive Director – Southern and Eastern Trade Information and Negotiations Institute (SEATINI) explained that ideally, intellectual property rights should be held by individual member states to allow time for technological development.
 
//Cue in: the whole idea..’’
Cue Out…development and health’’.//
 
An Industrial Property bill is set to be tabled in parliament, but the TRIPS agreement emphasizes on a no roll back provision that prevents poor countries from changing existing laws, even if they were developed in the colonial era.
 
TRIPS were concluded in 1994 and went into effect on 1 January 1995 for developed countries. LDC’s had a transition period of 10 years, until 2005, to comply. This extension was pushed to 2013 and 2016 for pharmaceutical products.