New Chair For WTO GI Register Talks Seeks New Ideas

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With general instructions from the December ministerial to change tactics in negotiations, the new chair of World Trade Organization special sessions on creating a geographical indications register for wines and spirits is calling on members for ideas.

According to a WTO official, Nigerian Ambassador Yonov Frederick Agah was elected chair at today’s brief meeting of the special sessions. Chairs typically are elected until the next ministerial conference, which is expected in 2013.

The chair said he would hold consultations with members and report back when completed. But no dates were set.

He told the gathering, “I [...] intend to initiate, in the coming weeks, a process of informal consultations with the delegations, both individually and in groups, in order to determine how best we may operationalize those elements of the outcome of [the Ministerial Conference] that relate to our work,” the WTO official said.

The mandated to establish the multilateral GI register for wines and spirits was agreed at the 2001 Doha ministerial. The December 2011 ministerial acknowledged that the overall 2001 Doha Development Agenda negotiations are at an impasse and called for new thinking.

Intellectual Property Watch reporting on the GI register talks is here.

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