IFLA closing statement at WIPO Diplomatic Conference


Thank you Mr Chair,

On behalf of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, but also on behalf of millions of print-disabled and visually impaired users worldwide I want to express the gratitude of the international library community for all of the hard work carried out here in Marrakech over the past two weeks.

IFLA has a Section for Libraries Serving Persons with Print Disabilities (LPD) which comprises of 80 library organizations from all over the world. All kind of libraries who are serving in any way Persons with Print Disabilities are overjoyed that an effective treaty has been agreed in Marrakech and we look forward to working together to implement it.

We firmly believe that events here will strengthen the international copyright framework. Member States have taken a historical step towards ending the book famine that will dramatically improve the life opportunities of millions of print disabled persons.

The Treaty will help libraries:

  • Meet increasing demand for accessible works to be made available between countries/communities that share a same language, e.g. Spanish, French, English
  •  Help print-disabled refugees, immigrants and short term visitors who need to access content made elsewhere, in the context of greater mobility around the world
  •  Increase the number of accessible books and the timeliness of making accessible copies available
  •  Empower print-disabled persons to participate fully in society and to contribute their talents

In closing, we want to thank the Member States, the WIPO Secretariat, the World Blind Union and all the other NGOs who have participated in getting us to this joyful moment.

Congratulations to everyone!

Thank you,

IFLA-LPD contact at the Marrakesh WIPO conference:

Geert Ruebens, director of Luisterpuntbibliotheek (Flemish Library for Braille and Audio Books), Brussels, Belgium: Geert.ruebens@luisterpuntbibliotheek.be 

CLM (Committee on Copyright and other Legal Matters), Access to information, Access to knowledge, Advocacy, Copyright, Services to the visually impaired

Last update: 7 July 2017