EU finally supports binding Treaty Visually Impaired: offical statement at WIPO

On 19 November 2012, the European Union announced to WIPO’s Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) that it now had the mandate to “negotiate the conclusion conclusion of an instrument including a binding treaty” for the blind.


Thank you, Mr. Chair. And I will speak to the issue of limitations and exceptions for visually impaired persons only.

Mr. Chairman, the European Union and its Member States would like to thank you and the WIPO Secretariat for the work on exceptions and limitations for visually impaired and print disabled persons.

Mr. Chairman, in the last year we make considerable progress to find solution to this very specific problem with a very specific objective: To remove barriers which prevent the access of the visually impaired persons to books and access work formats including by helping the secure monitor the across border of accessible formats.

At the last session of this committee we had extensive discussions on the proposal for international instrument on limitations and exceptions based on the comments made by the delegations original groups during the debate. The Secretariat prepared the working document SCCR/24/9. The European Union and its Member States actively engage in the work of the intersessional meeting organized by WIPO in October. We have found these discussions very useful as they helped to achieve a better understanding of the positions of the delegations and regional groups we have look forward to continuing their discussion this is a constructive manner.

Our objectives for the 25th session of the SCCR for this item are to concentrate the negotiations on the specific needs of visually impaired and print-disabled persons and to achieve a strong convergence of views on the solutions that we need to deliver. We need to advance as much as possible on the text, only a balanced approach will allow the Standing Committee to recommend that the General Assembly convenes a diplomatic conference in 2013.

Our goal is clear. We want to ensure that visually impaired and print disabled persons anywhere in the world have the same access to books than any other person. We believe this goal we can reach if we stay on course and target these programmes we have set ourselves to address while being mindful of the need to have effective protection of the rights of creators.
Mr. Chairman, the EU and its Member States are now also in the position to negotiate the conclusion of an instrument including a binding treaty. Recall the political commitments of print disabled persons in a balanced manner that does not — the issues of international Copyright framework. Thank you.