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

 

Israel’s Demolition Of Palestinian Homes

Makarim Wibisono, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories. UN Photo/Violaine Martin More>>

ALSO:

  • Palestinian Centre For Human Rights - Israeli Settlers Continue Their Attacks against Palestinians
  • Tribespeople Call On WWF To Stop Funding Abuse

    This Baka man from Ndongo village reported that he was severely beaten by anti-poaching squads on two occasions. His neighbors have appealed to WWF to stop funding such abuses. More>>

    Ebola: UN Crisis Response Mission Opens New Office In Mali

    Workers build an enclosure at the Mayagba Ebola community care centre construction site in Bombali District, which is among the areas worst affected by the disease in Sierra Leone. Photo: UNICEF/John James More>>

    ALSO:

    UNESCO Chief Denounces Murder Of Somali Radio Journalist

    Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Irina Bokova. UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz More>>

    Palestinian Refugees From Syria Face Worsening Situation

    Palestinian women at a UNRWA distribution centre in the Jaramana refugee camp, Damascus, Syria. Photo: UNRWA/Carole Alfarah More>>

    ALSO:

    Greece Risks Prolonged Social Crisis

    Greece’s severe financial crisis has bred social unrest and intolerance of the nearly one million irregular migrants living in the country (October 2012). Photo: IRIN/Kristy Siegfried More>>

    Madagascar: Warning Of ‘rapid’ Spread Of Plague In Capital

    Ny Hantra Andriatsifasoa survived the bubonic plague after being infected in Madagascar in 2011. Photo: IRIN/Tiana Randriaharimalala More>>

    New Bird Flu Strain In Europe Threatens Poultry Sector

    24 November 2014 – The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization ( FAO ) today warned that a new bird flu strain detected in Europe poses a significant threat to the poultry sector, especially in low-resourced countries situated along ... More>>


    Get More From Scoop

     
     
     
     
     
    World
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news