UNITED NATIONS, Feb 13 (APP):Marking World Radio Day, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has underscored radio’s enduring power to promote diversity and help build a more peaceful and inclusive world.
“Radio offers a wonderful display of diversity in its formats, in its languages, and among radio professionals themselves. This sends an important message to the world”, the secretary-general said in a message issued Thursday.
“As we strive to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and tackle the climate crisis, radio has a key role to play as a source of information and inspiration alike,” he added.
The diversity of radio content and programming, as well as the plurality of opinions expressed, is matched by the variety of broadcasting channels, according to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
“Whether you listen to AM, FM or digital radio in your car, stream stations on the web, or download podcasts to your phone, you are experiencing what is the world’s most widely consumed medium,” it was pointed out.
“Through the freedom it offers, radio is thus a unique means of promoting cultural diversity. This is particularly the case for indigenous peoples, for whom radio can be an accessible medium for sharing their experiences, promoting their cultures and expressing their ideas in their own languages,” Director-General Audrey Azoulay stated.
“It is also the case with community radio stations, which relay the concerns of many social groups whose voices would have much less impact in public debate without radio.”
Following endorsement of a UNESCO proclamation, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution in 2012 declaring 13 February World Radio Day.
The date marks the establishment of United Nations Radio in 1946.
UN audio programming continues into the digital age, with daily news bulletins, weekly magazine shows and monthly podcasts produced by teams working in the six UN official languages — Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish— as well as in Hindi, Kiswahili and Portuguese.
As UNESCO observed, radio is uniquely positioned to bring communities together and foster positive dialogue for change.
It remains a vital component of some UN field operations as they help countries navigate the difficult path from conflict to peace. A handful of peacekeeping missions either have or are supporting stations, such as Radio Miraya at the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).
In his message, the UN chief said, “On this World Radio Day, let us recognize the enduring power of radio to promote diversity and help build a more peaceful and inclusive world.”