Radio a powerful mass media to promote dialogue, tolerance and peace, says UN chief

NEW YORK, 13th February, 2019 (WAM) — On the occasion of the eighth World Radio Day on 13th February – an annual celebration of radio as a medium hosted by UNESCO – UN Secretary General António Guterres, said radio is a powerful mass media to promote dialogue, tolerance and peace.

The UN chief shared with the world a message on the occasion, saying, “Even in today’s world of digital communications, radio reaches more people than any other media platform. It conveys vital information and raises awareness on important issues. And it is a personal, interactive platform where people can air their views, concerns, and grievances. Radio can create a community.

“For the United Nations, especially our peacekeeping operations, radio is a vital way of informing, reuniting and empowering people affected by war.”

“On this World Radio Day, let us recognise the power of radio to promote dialogue, tolerance and peace,” he added.

World Radio Day was proclaimed at the 36th session of UNESCO’s General Conference in 2011 to take place on each 13th February. It was then unanimously endorsed by the United Nations General Assembly in 2012 as a UN Day The 13th of February was specifically chosen for World Radio Day as United Nations Radio was established on this date in 1946. The Day aims to raise greater awareness among the public and the media on the importance of radio, to encourage decision-makers to establish and provide access to information through radio, and to enhance networking and international cooperation among broadcasters.

Radio is the perfect medium to counter the appeals for violence and the spread of conflict, especially in regions potentially more exposed to such realities.

On that basis, World Radio Day 2019 celebrates the theme of “Dialogue, Tolerance and Peace”.

This Day highlights UNESCO’s commitment to bolster communication between all societies for the purpose of deepening mutual understanding through the “free flow of ideas by word and image.” The Organisation works to ensure that radio develops and remains free, independent and pluralistic, encouraging a variety of voices in the public debate, and widening access to information and knowledge.

In her message on the day, Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO, said, ”We celebrate the unique, far-reaching power of radio to broaden our horizons and build more harmonious societies. Radio stations from major international networks to community broadcasters today remember the importance of radio in stimulating public debate, increasing civic engagement and inspiring mutual understanding, under the theme Dialogue, Tolerance and Peace.”

”Radio is still one of the most reactive, engaging media there is, adapting to 21st Century changes and offering new ways to interact and participate in the conversations that matter, especially the most disadvantaged,” she added.

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