About Intellectual Property IP Training IP Outreach IP for… IP and... IP in... Patent & Technology Information Trademark Information Industrial Design Information Geographical Indication Information Plant Variety Information (UPOV) IP Laws, Treaties & Judgements IP Resources IP Reports Patent Protection Trademark Protection Industrial Design Protection Geographical Indication Protection Plant Variety Protection (UPOV) IP Dispute Resolution IP Office Business Solutions Paying for IP Services Negotiation & Decision-Making Development Cooperation Innovation Support Public-Private Partnerships The Organization Working with WIPO Accountability Patents Trademarks Industrial Designs Geographical Indications Copyright Trade Secrets WIPO Academy Workshops & Seminars World IP Day WIPO Magazine Raising Awareness Case Studies & Success Stories IP News WIPO Awards Business Universities Indigenous Peoples Judiciaries Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Traditional Cultural Expressions Economics Gender Equality Global Health Climate Change Competition Policy Sustainable Development Goals Enforcement Frontier Technologies Mobile Applications Sports Tourism PATENTSCOPE Patent Analytics International Patent Classification ARDI – Research for Innovation ASPI – Specialized Patent Information Global Brand Database Madrid Monitor Article 6ter Express Database Nice Classification Vienna Classification Global Design Database International Designs Bulletin Hague Express Database Locarno Classification Lisbon Express Database Global Brand Database for GIs PLUTO Plant Variety Database GENIE Database WIPO-Administered Treaties WIPO Lex - IP Laws, Treaties & Judgments WIPO Standards IP Statistics WIPO Pearl (Terminology) WIPO Publications Country IP Profiles WIPO Knowledge Center WIPO Technology Trends Global Innovation Index World Intellectual Property Report PCT – The International Patent System ePCT Budapest – The International Microorganism Deposit System Madrid – The International Trademark System eMadrid eMadrid Reference Article 6ter (armorial bearings, flags, state emblems) Hague – The International Design System eHague Lisbon – The International System of Appellations of Origin and Geographical Indications eLisbon UPOV PRISMA Mediation Arbitration Expert Determination Domain Name Disputes Centralized Access to Search and Examination (CASE) Digital Access Service (DAS) WIPO Pay Current Account at WIPO WIPO Assemblies Standing Committees Calendar of Meetings WIPO Official Documents Development Agenda Technical Assistance IP Training Institutions COVID-19 Support National IP Strategies Policy & Legislative Advice Cooperation Hub Technology and Innovation Support Centers (TISC) Technology Transfer Inventor Assistance Program WIPO GREEN WIPO's Pat-INFORMED Accessible Books Consortium WIPO for Creators WIPO ALERT Member States Observers Director General Activities by Unit External Offices Job Vacancies Procurement Results & Budget Financial Reporting Oversight

Stevie Wonder to UN Member States: Help Others Beat the Odds Like I Did, Join Marrakesh Treaty

December 5, 2016

Recording legend Stevie Wonder marked the December 3, 2016, International Day of Persons with Disabilities with a call for United Nations Member States to join the Marrakesh Treaty.

Speaking to delegates at UN headquarters in New York, Mr. Wonder said the “Books for Blind” treaty represents a “life-changing opportunity” for hundreds of millions of people living with visual impairments around the globe, primarily in lower-income countries. “I beat the odds,” he said. “Imagine if others like me were given the opportunity to function at their full potential, how much better our world would be.”

Video: Stevie Wonder speaks about the Marrakesh Treaty at the UN, where delegates marked the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

Transcript of Mr. Wonder’s remarks

"We have seen when powered and enabled, persons with disabilities, or persons who are differently abled, have so much to contribute to society. I am just one example of someone who was abled differently and yet I beat the odds. Incredible. Imagine if others like me were given the opportunity to function at their full potential, how much better our world would be."

“Just two months ago I was happy to know that the Marrakesh Treaty had entered into full force, ending the book famine for many visually impaired persons. Out of the millions of publications that are released every year, as few as 5 percent have been made available in accessible for persons that are visually impaired around the world.”

"The treaty will greatly expand the availability of published works in accessible formats such as Braille, large print and audio books. Twenty five states have ratified the treaty, but we need more countries to join in - especially countries who are major producers of special format books to ratify the treaty so that its benefits can be widely enjoyed throughout the world. This is a truly life changing opportunity. It opens the door to the world’s knowledge to the visually impaired people."

"Ratifying the Marrakesh Treaty is one way that countries can live up to their obligation under the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. That includes fulfilling the provisions of Article 21 to provide information intended for the general public to persons with disabilities in accessible formats and technology and Article 24 to ensure an inclusive education system at all levels. These are among the fundamental rights spelled out in the Convention that we have an obligation to promote and protect and we are here today to remind ourselves of this duty."