World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


UN Treaty to Expand Access to Books For Visually Impaired

UN Forum Adopts Historic Treaty to Expand Access to Books For Visually Impaired

New York, Jun 27 2013 - Negotiators at a United Nations-backed forum in Marrakesh adopted today a landmark copyright treaty to enhance access to books for millions of people who are blind or visually impaired.

The treaty, approved after more than a week of intense debate among negotiators meeting under the auspices of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), is the culmination of years of work on improving access for the blind, visually impaired, and print-disabled persons to published works in formats such as Braille, large print text and audio books.

“This treaty is a victory for the blind, visually impaired and print disabled, but also for the multilateral system,” said WIPO Director General Francis Gurry.

“With this treaty, the international community has demonstrated the capacity to tackle specific problems, and to agree a consensus solution,” he said, adding that the accord is balanced and “represents a very good arbitration of the diverse interests of the various stakeholders.”

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are more than 314 million blind and visually impaired persons in the world, 90 per cent of whom live in developing countries.

However, the World Blind Union estimates that of the million or so books published worldwide every year, less than five per cent are made available in formats accessible to visually impaired persons.

The treaty, called the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons who are Blind, Visually Impaired, or otherwise Print Disabled, requires parties to adopt national law provisions that permit the reproduction, distribution and making available published works in accessible formats without having to seek permission from copyright holders in each case.

It also allows the exchange of accessible format works across borders by organizations that serve people who are blind, visually impaired, and print disabled. This will increase the availability of accessible works as different countries will be able to each produce accessible versions of materials, which can then be shared with each other instead of duplicating efforts by adapting the same work.

The treaty also ensures authors and publishers that the system will not expose their published works to misuse or distribution to anyone other than the intended beneficiaries.

Last week, music icon Stevie Wonder had appealed to more than 600 forum negotiators from 186 countries to finalize the treaty, and promised to celebrate with them in Morocco when the agreement concluded. Mr. Wonder, who is also a UN Messenger of Peace, has long been a supporter for the rights of persons with disabilities.

The music legend will honour his promise by holding a concert tomorrow – the last day of the conference – at the Palais de Congres in Marrakesh. The treaty will enter into force after it has been ratified by 20 WIPO members that agree to be bound by its provisions.

For more details go to UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Ukraine: Victim "Tortured By Russian-Sponsored Militants"

GENEVA, September 17, 2014 – Irina Dovgan, a Ukrainian woman who made international headlines after she was publicly abused by Russian-sponsored militants in eastern Ukraine, testified today before the UN Human Rights Council. More>>

Gaza: Detention Conditions Of Palestinians Arrested By Israelis

PCHR Follows up Detention Conditions of Palestinians Arrested by Israeli Forces in Latest Offensive on the Gaza Strip More>>


UN: ‘Heinous’ Murder Of British Aid Worker By Islamic Militants

A wide view of the Security Council in session (file photo). UN Photo/Paulo Filgueiras More>>

ALSO:

UN: Nuclear Programmes Of DPR Korea, Iran Remain Serious Concern

IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano (left) delivers his introductory statement at the Board of Governors Meeting in Vienna, Austria. Photo: IAEA/Dean Calma More>>

Libya: Closer To Brink Of Protracted Conflict And Strife

Special Representative and head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) Bernardino Léon. UN Photo/Evan Schneider More>>

Gaza:Renewed Urgency In West Bank

15 September 2014 – In the aftermath of the recent conflict in the Gaza Strip, a fundamental change is needed in the dynamics in the enclave, the United Nations today reported, calling also for renewed urgency in addressing the situation in the ... More>>

UN Agency Food Prices Drop To Four-Year Low

As the result of two consecutive years of good harvests, global cereal inventories are expected to rise to their highest levels in 15 years. Photo: FAO/Danfung Dennis More>>

Pacific.Scoop: Fiji’s Captive 45 UN Peacekeepers Set Free

The United Nations has confirmed the release of all 45 Fijian peacekeepers who had been held for two weeks by Islamist rebels in the Golan Heights on the Israeli-Syrian border, reports Al Jazeera English. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news