UN Photo/JC McIlwaineStevie Wonder has agreed to play a special concert in Marrakesh, Morocco, on Friday to celebrate the adoption on Thursday of an international treaty that will give blind and visually impaired people greater access Braille, large-print and audio books. The Motown legend had strongly petitioned negotiators from the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to pass the agreement, and had promised to play a show in Marrakesh if it was ratified.
Before the treaty was adopted, Wonder taped a video plea imploring WIPO officials to approve it.
"This is a legacy, a gift to future generations," Stevie said in the video. "So let's finalize a new agreement that opens doors to the world's written treasures and moves towards a future where there are no barriers to the expansion of knowledge and enjoyment of culture."
He added, "Let's get this signed, sealed, delivered, and I'm yours. Do this and I will come to Marrakesh and we will celebrate together."
The concert reportedly will take place at 8 p.m. local time at Marrakesh's Palais des Congres, where the WIPO negotiations took place.
The legislation will help make it easier for publications geared toward blind and visually impaired people to be distributed across international borders by overcoming various copyright issues.
"With this treaty, the international community has demonstrated the capacity to tackle specific problems, and to agree a consensus solution," says WIPO Director General Francis Gurry. "It is a historic treaty that will lead to real benefits for the visually impaired."
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