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EDITORIAL: As The World Celebrates Radio Day Today



Today is World Radio Day, a day set aside to celebrate radio, why we love it and why we need it now, more than ever. A day to remember the unique power of radio to touch lives and bring people together across every corner of the globe. It was proclaimed on 3 November 2011 by UNESCO’s 36th General Conference after originally being proposed by the Kingdom of Spain.

Following a request from the Spanish Radio Academy, on 20 September 2010, the Kingdom of Spain proposed that the UNESCO Executive Board include an agenda item on the proclamation of a World Radio Day. UNESCO’s Executive Board approved the agenda item in its provisional agenda, for the proclamation of a “World Radio Day” on 29 September 2011.

The Board recommended to the UNESCO 36th session of the General Conference that it proclaim a World Radio Day at its 36th session, and that this day be celebrated by UNESCO on 13 February, the anniversary of the day the United Nations established United Nations Radio in 1946. It also invited all United Nations Member States, organizations of the United Nations system and other international and regional organizations, professional associations and broadcasting unions, as well as civil society, including non-governmental organizations and individuals, to duly celebrate World Radio Day, in the way that each considers most adequate.

The Board further requested that UNESCO’s Director-General brought the resolution to the attention of the Secretary-General of the United Nations so that World Radio Day could be endorsed by the General Assembly and celebrated by the whole system. The matter was subsequently treated by UNESCO’s General Conference, which adopted resolution contained in the file 36 C/63. World Radio Day was thus unanimously proclaimed by all Member States of UNESCO in November 2011.

In December 2012, The General Assembly of the UN endorsed the proclamation of World Radio Day, thereby becoming a Day to be celebrated by all UN agencies, funds and programmes and their partners through File A/RES/67/124. Various radio industry bodies around the world are supporting the initiative by encouraging stations in developed countries to assist those in the developing world.At UNESCO, the consultation, proclamation and celebrations were handled by Mirta Lourenco, Chief of the Sector for Media Development.

This year’s theme is “Radio and Sports”. As we look forward to a year of momentous sporting events that have the ability to unite the hearts and minds of people everywhere, World Radio Day 2018 will celebrate the traditional sports that connect us to our cultural heritage, the grassroots sports that anchor us within our communities and the inspiring stories that challenge gender stereotypes and provide positive role models for young people around the world.

This should spur the nation and the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) to invest in sports and the youth, in order to create more role models for young people, invest in the enhancement of talent, harness sports as a unifying factor and, ultimately, keep young people off the streets and crime.

The theme for 2018 is all about the alliance of sport and radio as a force for civic participation and development as well as for celebrating humanity in its diversity. World Radio Day 2018 celebrates  radio’s critical function in shaping this alliance, by providing a platform for radio stations, and listeners alike, to construct their programs and conversations around Radio and Sports. The sub-themes are: Radio and Sports build and unite communities; Radio and Sports inspire participation and inclusion; Radio fosters goodwill and inspires humanity; how radio impacts on our lives. 

We may not readily admit it, but the radio has been a huge part of man’s life and, for over 100 years, has been a vehicle for development in communications and communal education and it is time to celebrate one of man’s greatest gift to man.