Home » World Radio Day celebrates a ‘unique instrument of peace’

World Radio Day celebrates a ‘unique instrument of peace’

by Dubaiforum

PARIS,13th February, 2023 (WAM) – Since it was developed about a century ago, radio has proven to be an exceptional means of communication, debate and exchange – indeed, it is one of the most accessible and widespread types of media, said Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), on the World Radio Day.

From supporting forthcoming elections in South Sudan, to getting war-weary people to buy into peace processes; to ensuring high school girls in Afghanistan can keep learning even after they have been banned from classrooms: radio continues to be relevant in the digital era.

World Radio Day, observed annually on 13 February, celebrates the power of the medium. The theme this year is ‘Radio and Peace’, highlighting its role in conflict prevention and peacebuilding.

In her message for the Day, she urged everyone “not only to celebrate radio’s potential, but also, and especially, to make greater use of radio as a unique instrument of peace.”

Radio’s accessibility and widespread reach have made it a critical tool for UNESCO, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, when it was necessary to reach students who were out of school.

The UN agency established a system to teach children over the airwaves, benefiting scores of learners in many countries, including in sub-Saharan Africa where less than a quarter of people have internet access.

“Radio is thus very often the medium of last resort. We are seeing this again in Afghanistan, where girls and women have been suddenly and unfairly denied their right to learn, study and teach,” said Ms. Azoulay.

UNESCO has strongly condemned the bans and has launched a programme with the European Union to support media outlets in Afghanistan. The objective is to help circulate educational material, and information on health and safety, to reach at least six million people directly.

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