The United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has underscored the power of radio as a mass medium of communication. “On this World Radio Day, let us recognize the power of radio to promote dialogue, tolerance and peace,” he said in his 2019 World Radio Day message.
In the message read on his behalf by the National Information Officer of the UN Information Centre (UNIC) Nigeria, Dr Oluseyi Soremekun, at the Award event organised by the National Broadcast Academy in Lagos, the Secretary General noted that radio is a powerful tool.
“Even in today’s world of digital communications, radio reaches more people than any other media platform. It conveys vital information and raises awareness on important issues. And it is a personal, interactive platform where people can air their views, concerns, and grievances. Radio can create a community.” Mr Guterres added.
Explaining the rationale behind the choice of 13 February for World Radio Day, Dr Soremekun said, “During its 67th Session, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming 13 February, the day United Nations Radio was established in 1946, as World Radio Day.”
He explained that the 2019 Theme: ‘Dialogue, Tolerance and Peace’, took its roots from the Sustainable Development Goal 16 and provided a platform for dialogue and democratic debate over issues, such as migration or violence against women, and could help to raise awareness among listeners and inspire understanding for new perspectives in paving the way for positive action.
Speaking, the Director of the National Broadcast Academy, Engineer Ajibola Abiola, noted that radio is still the most dynamic, reactive and engaging medium there is, adapting to 21st century changes and offering new ways to interact and participate. “Radio provides the diversity of views and voices needed to address the challenges we all face.”
In her closing remarks, the Coordinator of the 2019 World Radio Day event at the Academy, Ms Uchenna Obaseki, thanked the broadcast industry partners especially the United Nations for their support. She hinted that the National Broadcast Academy would have a greater observance of the World Radio Day in 2020.
Earlier, Dr Soremekun decorated a participant, Mr Jude Uchea, of the Academy Production Department, with the SDGs-Wheel Pin for his brilliant summary of the message of the UN Secretary-General.