Trips, CBD and Traditional Medicines: Concepts and Questions. Report of an ASEAN Workshop on the TRIPS Agreement and Traditional Medicine, Jakarta, February 2001
(2001; 88 pages)
Table of Contents
View the documentACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
View the documentLIST OF ABBREVIATIONS AND ACRONYMS
View the documentLIST OF RESOURCE PERSONS
View the documentEXECUTIVE SUMMARY
View the documentI. INTRODUCTION
Open this folder and view contentsII. CONTEXT
Close this folderIII. KEY INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENTS
View the document3.1 The Convention on Biological Diversity
View the document3.2 The TRIPS Agreement
View the document3.3 CBD versus TRIPS
Open this folder and view contentsIV. IPR & TRADITIONAL MEDICINE: MISMATCH
Open this folder and view contentsV. CONCEPTS, OBJECTIVES AND CONFLICTS
Open this folder and view contentsVI. OPTIONS AND CHOICES
Open this folder and view contentsVII. POLICIES AND STRATEGIES
Open this folder and view contentsVIII. EXAMPLES
View the documentWORKSHOP RECOMMENDATIONS
View the documentANNEX A - Workshop Agenda
View the documentANNEX B - Opening Remarks
View the documentANNEX C - Selected Articles of the Convention on Biological Diversity
View the documentANNEX D - List of Participants
 

3.3 CBD versus TRIPS

When comparing CBD and TRIPS, one is obviously comparing two very different agreements, which deal with very different issues and have a different focus. Yet, for a better understanding, the following essential and simple distinctions between them can be pointed out:

• Countries need to enact their own legislation in order to make either of these agreements operational at the national level, but in case of TRIPS, the process tends to be driven by large -often multinational- corporations and by pressure from certain developed countries, while the initiative to develop legislation for implementing the CBD usually arises from national concerns and interests;

• There is a powerful international mechanism to ensure that countries comply with their obligations under TRIPS; a comparable enforcement mechanism does not exist with regard to obligations under the CBD;

• The CBD mainly deals with public rights, many of which are not well-defined; in fact, their articulation is largely left to the State - thus rights may differ considerably among countries. TRIPS on the other hand deals with well-defined private rights;

• TRIPS provides fairly precise (minimum) standards, whereas the CBD only lays down general principles and broad guidelines.

However, while a discussion on differences and potential conflicts between the two agreements may sharpen the understanding of these treaties, most countries -including most developing countries- have ratified both. Thus, they will have to develop appropriate national policies and laws to implement their commitments under both these treaties in the way that best suits the national interest.

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