Dubai: Shaikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi highlighted the importance of providing all means of intellectual support to people with special needs across the world at an address during The Diplomatic Conference of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).

The conference is taking place in Morocco from June 17-28.

Shaikha Bodour, Founder and CEO of Sharjah-based Kalimat Publishing House, said that it is important to facilitate people with special needs’ access to books as they form an essential part of the community and must be afforded every right to develop themselves and their cognitive abilities.

She was invited by the International Publishing Association (IPA) to deliver the Arabic address during the conference in recognition of her role as a communication facilitator with wide-ranging international organisations and institutions, which help support and enrich the cultural exposure of children and individuals with special needs.

The Diplomatic Conference, which was held for the first time in the world, was dedicated to pursuing talks about the implementation of a treaty to ensure that blind and visually impaired people who are unable to read printed materials can have access to copyright-protected materials and releases.

A total of 300 million blind and visually impaired people who are unable to read printed materials, 90 per cent of which are in developing countries will benefit from the treaty.

Shaikha Bodour emphasised that the treaty conveys messages of true humanitarian outreach and warmth that must be conveyed to the whole world so that every blind and visually impaired person can benefit from them.

She urged all participants in the conference to take a landmark decision by signing this treaty, which will allow millions of blind and visually impaired people around the world to have easy access to books.

She also emphasised that the implementation of the treaty would be a historical achievement that would ultimately benefit publishers and will both make their publications available to millions of people across the world and allow for the enactment of effective law and regulations to protect publishers’ and authors’ rights.

Libraries in developing countries suffer from lack of books designed and tailored for the visually impaired as these books comprise less than five per cent of the total one million books published across the world.