5 October 2016: Statement of Knowledge Ecology International at inaugural Marrakesh Treaty Assembly

On Wednesday, 5 October 2016, Knowledge Ecology International (KEI) delivered the following intervention at the inaugural Marrakesh Treaty Assembly.

5 October 2016

It is an important achievement for WIPO to have embraced the Marrakesh Treaty, and addressed and corrected the barriers that copyright presented for access to culture and knowledge, for persons who are blind or have other disabilities.

The treaty would not have happened without the longstanding advocacy of persons who are blind, including the World Blind Union and many of its members and member organizations. Other disabilities and civil organizations also supported this effort.

The period from 2008 to 2013 was particularly critical. At the risk of excluding many, we would like to single out Dr Manon Ress, from KEI, for her devotion to this effort.

From disability groups and civil society, we would like to single out –

David Hammerstein, then working for TACD, Rahul Cherian, Nirmita Narasimhan, KM Gopakumar and Pranesh Prakash from India, Judit Rius Sanjuan from Spain, Pablo Lecuona from Argentina, Jace Nair and Marcus Low from South Africa, Dan Pescod and Chris Friend from the United Kingdom, Maryanne Diamond from Australia. Jonathan Band, from the US.

EIFL, IFLA and its member organizations played an important role.

The several effective advocates from the US based NFB and ACB, Jim Fruchterman from Bookshare, Francisco Martinez and Barbara Munoz from ONCE and many government negotiators including Marcos Souza, Thais Mesquita and Kenneth Nobrega from Brazil, Luis Vayas from Ecuador, GR Raghavender from India, Nazrul Islam from Bangladesh, Ruth Okediji on the Nigerian delegation, Kelly Yona from Switzerland, Mokhtar Warida and Heba Mosta from Egypt, Ahlem Charikhi from Algeria, Luis Villarroel, and Vera Franz, from OSF, who supported much of the advocacy by civil society and blind groups.

Finally, we would like to thank the Kingdom of Morocco for hosting the Marrakesh Diplomatic Conference in 2013.