Stevie Wonder fulfills promise to play concert in Marrakesh
Stevie Wonder prepares for a concert in Marrakesh on Friday, fulfilling his promise to play if negotiators concluded a treaty for the blind and visually impaired.
Stevie Wonder is a man of his word. Reuters reports that Wonder will be giving a concert in Marrakesh on Friday to honor the promise he made to perform if negotiators concluded an international treaty for the blind and visually impaired.
The pact, which promises to give more access to books for blind and visually impaired people worldwide, was lobbied hard by Wonder, who has been blind since birth. It aims to overcome those copyright issues that have become barriers to publishing works in accessible formats that would make it easier for the disabled to use. The pact was approved on Thursday by more than 600 negotiators from 186 states, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) said in a statement.
The pact, to be known as the "Marrakesh Treaty," will require ratifying countries to adopt laws which will permit the reproduction and distribution of published works in formats such as Braille, large-print text and audio books. It enters into force when ratified by 20 member states of the U.N. agency.
"This is a balanced treaty and represents a very good arbitration of the diverse interests of the various stakeholders," WIPO Director General Francis Gurry said.
"This is a legacy, a gift to future generations. So let's finalize a new agreement that opens doors to the world's written treasures and move towards a future where there are no barriers to the expansion of knowledge and enjoyment of culture," Wonder said in a recorded video that was sent to the meeting this week.
"Let's get this signed, sealed, delivered, and I'm yours," he added, borrowing a verse from one of his hit songs. "Do this and I will come to Marrakesh and we will celebrate together."
The concert will be held on Friday at the Palais des Congrès and is limited only to participants of the diplomatic conference.
Wonder hasn't always been known for making his opinion known when it comes to political issues, but last year he did speak up about gun control at a benefit concert and also wasn't afraid to share some of his opinions around election time.