Short oral statement at WIPO general assembly in Geneva today in debate on copyright
Today the World Blind Union has strong reasons to celebrate. Millions of blind and other visually-impaired persons will have greater access to reading materials of all kinds thanks to the entry into force of the “Marrakesh Treaty This is great news and a hard-fought historic victory for the human rights of persons with disabilities. It is also proof that a well organized civil society campaign can forge a transnational movement that at once seals a strong alliance of common purpose with countries of the Global South while succeeding in overcoming the initial opposition from a few large member states of the North.
Today, The WBU would like to call attention to the present paradoxical situation with regards to the otherwise very joyful entry into force of the Marrakesh Treaty that needs to be changed as soon as possible:
Today the Books are where the Treaty is not; on the contrary, the Treaty is where the books are not.
If this Treaty is going to fulfill its objectives the ratification and full participation of the US and the EU, where a large part of works in accessible formats for the visually-impaired are located, is of the upmost importance. We strongly encourage the US and the EU to join the Treaty with no further delay so that our happiness and celebration can soon really be complete.
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