Message from Ms Irina Bokova, Director

Message from Ms Irina Bokova, Director-General
General of UNESCO, on
the occasion of World Radio Day, 13 February 2015
he fourth annual World Radio Day focuses on young women and
men. On this occasion, UNESCO calls for greater social inclusion of
the generation under 30 years old, which accounts for more than half
of the world’s population and underline the power of radio to contribute
to this objective.
Young women and men are not sufficiently represented in the media -an exclusion that often reflects a wider social, economic and
democratic exclusion. Young producers and broadcasters are still rare.
Too few programmes are devoted to or designed by young people.
This deficit explains the many stereotypes concerning young people
circulating in the media and over the airwaves.
Radio provides the means for change.
It is a vector of cohesion, education and culture.
It is a platform for exchange, where young people may find their place
and express themselves.
It is often through young people (citizen journalists or freelancers) that
the international press are able to cover current affairs in sensitive or
dangerous regions. Many have risked their lives in the service of
information and the radio. Supporting them better by giving them
greater voice, we can air innovative ideas and new viewpoints and
renew collective energies. This is the goal off World Radio Day in 2015,
reflecting UNESCO’s efforts to counter all forms of discrimination.
Radio also helps to create a sense of community through the
dissemination of information. It supports communities in breaking out
of their isolation in situations
ns of armed conflict, political tension and
humanitarian hardship. UNESCO is currently using the radio to
broadcast health emergency messages in response to the Ebola crisis.
Radio can also help to rebuild social links in refugee communities and
UNESCO contributes
tributes here to disseminating education, culture and
information, by backing programmes created and hosted by young
Today, I call on all UNESCO Member States and partners, especially
in the world of radio, to rally around this medium and make the most of
it as a force for social inclusion, intergenerational dialogue and social