February 11, 2012

UN set to celebrate first World Radio Day

United Nations – The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) says the role of radio as a facilitator of education, freedom of expression and public debate will be celebrated as World Radio Day on Monday

“In a world changing quickly, we must make the most of radio’s ability to connect people and societies, to share knowledge and information and to strengthen understanding.

“With the ability to reach up to 95 per cent of the world’s population, radio is the most prevalent mass medium which has the ability to reach remote communities and marginalised groups at a low cost.

“It has also proven to be highly resilient as its scope and distribution platforms have grown with the development of new technologies.

“Radio is the mass medium that reaches the widest audience, especially the most marginalised parts of our societies,’’ Irina Bokova UNESCO Director General said in her massage marking the Day.

She, however, stated that “Free, independent and pluralistic radio is essential for healthy societies, it is vital for advancing human rights and fundamental freedoms. ”

The observance of they day on Feb. 13 also marks the anniversary of UN Radio, which was launched in 1946.

UNESCO stressed the importance of radio as a vital source of information during natural disasters, and as a central instrument in community life with the potential of mobilising social change.

UNESCO noted that worldwide, up to one billion people still do not have access to radio, naming Nepal as   example, where it said that almost one fifth of the people live in areas without radio coverage. (NAN)