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2016 World Radio Day to focus on Emergency and Disaster

2016 World Radio Day (WRD) will be celebrated on February 13 with the theme: ‘Radio in Times of Emergency and Disaster’.

WRD was proclaimed by UNESCO in 2011 to celebrate radio as a medium, improve cooperation between broadcasters and to encourage major networks and community radio alike to promote access to information, freedom of expression and gender equality over the airwaves.

Through World Radio Day celebrations around the world, UNESCO will promote radio in times of emergency and disaster, and put forward the following messages:

  • Freedom of expression and journalists’ safety should be disaster-proof.
  • Radio empowers survivors and vulnerable people, whose right to privacy is to be respected.
  • Radio has social impact and provides access to information. People’s right to information should be protected even in times of emergency and disaster.
  • Radio saves lives. 
  • The immediate accessibility of radio frequencies is essential to saving lives. These frequencies should be protected so they are available in times of emergency.

On February 13, international broadcasters will broadcast live on UNESCO’s dedicated website,

UNESCO will also provide copyright free articles, audio and video messages from opinion leaders, celebrities, and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassadors related to radio for use by broadcasters on World Radio Day.

Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, saidToday, we call upon public authorities and stakeholders in development and humanitarian action to strengthen the links between the radio and emergency response so that the voices of the men and women, victims, rescue workers and journalists, who we hear at such times over the transistor, the mobile phone or the computer, may be the voices of life and hope.”

UNESCO is inviting all countries to celebrate World Radio Day by planning activities in partnership with regional, national and international broadcasters, non-governmental organizations, national authorities, the media and the public.