World Radio Day is an international day celebrated on 13 February each year. The Day was decided by UNESCO on 3 November 2011 during its 36th conference.
World Radio Day 2021: During this day UNESCO invites stations to celebrate the 10th anniversary of this event and more than a century of radio. This edition of the radio day focuses on three sub-themes:
EVOLUTION. The world is changing, radio is evolving. This sub-theme refers to the resilience of radio, to its sustainability;
INNOVATION. The world is changing, radio is adapting and innovating. Radio has had to adapt to new technologies to remain the medium of mobility par excellence, accessible to all and everywhere;
CONNECT. The world is changing, radio connects. This sub-theme highlights the services provided by radio to our society / Natural disasters, socioeconomic crises, epidemics, etc … This day will include six hours in two different programs and Off sequences all broadcast live on Youtube, Facebook and Twitch.
Background: Following a request from the Spanish Radio Academy on 20 September 2010, Spain proposed that the UNESCO Executive Board include an agenda item on the proclamation of a World Radio Day. UNESCO’s Executive Board the agenda item in its provisional agenda for the proclamation of a “World Radio Day” on 29 September 2011. UNESCO carried out a wide consultation in 2011 with diverse stakeholders, such as broadcasting associations, UN agencies, funds and programmes, relevant NGOs, foundations and bilateral development agencies, as well as UNESCO Permanent Delegations and National Commissions for UNESCO. Among the answers, 91% were in favour of the project, including official support from the Arab States Broadcasting Union (ASBU), the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU), the African Union of Broadcasting (AUB), the Caribbean Broadcasting Union (CBU), the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), the International Association of Broadcasting (IAB), the North American Broadcasters Association (NABA), the Organización de Telecomunicaciones Ibeoramericanas (OTI), BBC, URTI, Vatican Radio, etc. The results of this consultation are available in UNESCO’s document 187 EX/13.
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 that the United Nations established the 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 bring 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, which thereby became a day to be celebrated by all UN agencies, funds and programmes and their partners. 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.
The first World Radio Day:
In honour of the first World Radio Day in 2012, Lifeline Energy, FrontlineSMS, SOAS Radio and Empowerhouse hosted a seminar in London. A variety of practitioners, academics and tools providers joined at the School of Oriental and African Studies to explore ways in which radio reaches even the most remote and vulnerable communities. Speakers included Guy Berger (Director for Freedom of Expression and Media Development at UNESCO), Dr Chege Githiora (Chairman of the Centre of African Studies at SOAS), Birgitte Jallov (Empowerhouse/ Panos London), Amy O’Donnell (FrontlineSMS:Radio), Carlos Chirinos (SOAS Radio), and Linje Manyozo (LSE). The panel was moderated by Lucy Durán (SOAS, BBC Radio 3, Human Planet). At the University of Pisa in Italy, a public event was held on 13 February 2012 to commemorate World Radio Day. The event was organized by Italradio and the Faculty of Engineering and Telecommunication and focused on the cost and ease of use of radio as a source of information. Pisa was chosen as the first Italian city to host an intercontinental radio station built by Marconi in the early years of 20th century.
In 2012, in Barcelona, Spain, a public event organised by College of Telecommunications Engineers of Catalunya (COETTC) was held on 21 February 2012 to commemorate World Radio Day. The event was organised with the help of the Government of Catalonia. There were panellists from radio stations and personalities from the world of radio broadcasting in attendance. The main event was a panel discussion entitled “For a more global and competitive radio”. In Switzerland, the European Broadcasting Union organised a Digital Radio Week. This was a series of technical events starting on 13 February 2012, with the participation of the main radio standardisation organisations: DRM Consortium, WorldDMB, RadioDNS. There was also a local digital radio transmission in DAB+ demonstrating the democratization of transmission for smaller structures, using CRC mmbTools open software defined radio tools.
Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio and Communication (BNNRC) promotes the observance of World Radio Day on 13 February in collaboration with public service Broadcasting, Commercial broadcasting & Community Broadcasting at local and national level. The World Radio Day Observation National Committee was established in Bangladesh for this purpose.
International Committee of Radio (World Radio Day Committee) :
This committee was born in 2012 after the proclamation of the UNESCO’s World Radio Day. The idea came from the president of the Spanish Radio Academy, Jorge Alvarez. This committee consists the most important radio broadcast organisations: ITU-International Telecommunication Union, Spanish Radio Academy, IAB-International Association of Broadcasting, ABU-Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union, ASBU-Arab States Broadcasting Union, EBU/UER-European Broadcasting Union, AER-Association of European Radios, AMARC-World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters, AIBD-Asia Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development, BNNRC-Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio and Communication, URTI-International Radio and Television Union and AUB/UAR-The African Union of Broadcasting. The Founding Act was signed on March 12, 2012.
Radio stations around the world are invited to promote the official interactive platform wrd13.com of the international WRD Committee by proposing to their listeners to deposit audio messages on it, in any language, which they will be able to download for broadcasting all day long on 13 February.