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Permanent Mission of Cuba in Geneva
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STATEMENT DELIVERED BY H.E. MRS. ANAYANSI RODRÍGUEZ CAMEJO, AMBASSADOR, PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF CUBA TO THE UNITED NATIONS OFFICE IN GENEVA

 AND OTHER INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS IN SWITZERLAND, ON SECTION 211 OF THE WTO’S DISPUTE SETTLEMENT BODY

Mr. Chairman,

The United States expresses in its Status Report No. 149 -and I quote- that on 2 February 2002, the Dispute Settlement Body ("DSB") adopted its recommendations and rulings in United States -Section 211 Omnibus Appropriations Act of 1998 (WT/DS176) and further specifies that at the subsequent DSB meeting, the United States informed the DSB of its intention to implement the recommendations and rulings of the DSB in connection with this matter.

Since March 2002, the United States has been announcing to the DSB that it will proceed to the fulfilment of this dispute, without anything positive having occurred. This Member maintains an unjustified and unnecessary longstanding noncompliance with the provisions of the DSB, which established over 13 years ago a decision concerning the obligation of the United States to bring Section 211 into conformity with the provisions of the TRIPS Agreement and the Paris Convention.

Violations of Cuban trademarks and patents in the US are protected Under Section 211, and the theft of the Havana Club rum brand is particularly legalized. 

By contrast, Cuba has invariably, and without any discrimination, respected its obligations under the international legal instruments related to Industrial Property. The Cuban government has ensured that more than 5000 US brands and patents benefit from their registration on our territory.

The United States has an obligation to take concrete action towards an actual fulfilment and to submit substantive information that overcomes the old phrase stating that relevant legislation has been introduced and that they will continue to work on a solution that would resolve this matter.

 Mr. Chairman,

It is unwise to ignore Cuba´s concerns and the number of Members that each month considers that facts like these jeopardize the credibility and effectiveness of the dispute settlement system.

 Once again, Cuba requests to this Body the immediate repeal of Section 211 and the cessation of all the negative consequences generated by the application of the policy of economic, commercial and financial blockade against our country.

We urge the United States to act in a manner consistent with its participation in the DSB, as a major user and claimant of the dispute settlement system. We hope they acknowledge the serious implications and the negative precedent created while maintaining this noncompliance for so many years, which infringes and violates the equity that we expected to obtain from the dispute settlement system established by the WTO.

Thank you very much.

 
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