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World Radio Day is an observance day held annually on 13 February[1]. World Radio Day is about celebrating radio, why we love it and why we need it today 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[2]. It was proclaimed on 3 November 2011 by UNESCO's 36th General Conference after originally being proposed by the Kingdom of Spain.

World Radio Day
Día Mundial de la Radio
Journée mondiale de la radio
Logo english WRD2018.png
Logo of World Radio Day adopted by International Radio Committee
Also called World Radio Day
Observed by UN Member States
Celebrations UNESCO
Date 13 February
Next time 13 February 2019 (2019-02-13)
Frequency annual



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 approved 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, i.e. broadcasting associations; public, state, private, community and international broadcasters; UN agencies; funds and programmes; topic-related NGOs; academia; 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.[1][2]

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. 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.[6] At UNESCO the consultation, proclamation and celebrations were handled by Mirta Lourenco, Chief of the Sector for Media Development.

The first World Radio DayEdit

Logo of the first World Radio Day

In honour of the first edition of 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.[citation needed] 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).[citation needed] 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. The seminar focused on radio broadcasting being an easy and cheap access to 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.[7]

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 organized 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".[8] 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.[9]

Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio and Communication (BNNRC) has started advocacy process on observing the 1st world radio day on 13 February 2012 in collaboration with public service Broadcasting, Commercial broadcasting & Community Broadcasting at local and national level. Through World Radio Day Observation National Committee in Bangladesh has already observed World Radio Day 2012, World Radio Day 2013, World Radio Day 2014 and World Radio Day 2015

World Radio Day 2013Edit

World Radio Day 2013 event at UNESCO Headquarters, Paris

World Radio Day 2013 celebrations were extensively covered in news and social media worldwide. UNESCO staff gave 75 media interviews and 130 registered events took place that reached over 150 million listeners worldwide. UNESCO audio interviews with UNESCO Goodwill Ambassadors, Artists for Peace and world known opinion leaders resulted in over 10,000 plays on SoundCloud thematic page in February. "World Radio Day" became a Top-10 global trending topic on Twitter throughout the day. The World Radio Day website received over 90,000 page views in January and February 2013. The promotion of the day counted with several partners.

World Radio Day 2014Edit

World Radio Day 2014 had the theme Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in Radio proposed by UNESCO. Its sub-themes included:

  • Sensitizing radio station owners, executives, journalists, and governments to develop gender-related policies and strategies for radio
  • Eliminating stereotypes and promoting multidimensional portrayal in radio
  • Building radio skills for youth radio production, with a focus on girls as producers, hosts, reporters
  • Promoting Safety of women radio journalists

The multilingual event website offered several copyright-free audio/video messages for rebroadcasting and diffusion, as well as an interactive map for submitting events related to the celebration of the day. Thematic infographics can be found in English, French and Spanish.

World Radio Day 2015Edit

World Radio Day 2015 was held on 13 February 2015 around the theme of Youth and Radio, with the goal of increasing the participation of young people in radio. The sub-themes of the Day were:

  • Celebrating Radio - showcasing the power of radio as a medium.
  • By youth, for youth - highlighting the contribution of young people as creators of radio content and improving their participation.
  • Safety & Security - building awareness of the risks faced by young international freelancers and fixers, especially in humanitarian and disaster zones.

Theme for World radio day 2016 is " Radio in times of emergency and disaster". More than 320 events were held in more than 80 countries around the world to mark the Day,[10] with 19 radio stations from around the world coming to UNESCO Headquarters to broadcast live.

World Radio Day 2016Edit

World Radio Day 2016 was held on 13 February 2016 around the theme of Radio in Times of Emergency and Disaster, with the goal of building partnerships with the humanitarian and emergency sector, as well as the community at large. The sub-themes of the Day were:

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

More than 320 events were held in more than 80 countries around the world to mark the Day,[11] with 19 radio stations from around the world coming to UNESCO Headquarters to broadcast live.

World Radio Day 2017Edit

World Radio Day 2017 was held on 13 February 2017 around the theme of "Radio is You", with the goal of celebrating how audiences interact with Radio. The theme was designed to encourage radio stations to be the best they can, by having audience engagement policies, ethical committees, public editors, self review programmes and by ensuring their community radio networks were strong. A record number of countries, took part in World Radio Day 2017 with more than 500 events worldwide.

  • The theme "Radio is You” was chosen because radio is everything it is because of its listeners. The theme puts the spotlight on audiences, ensuring their views and diversity are represented on the airwaves.
  • The theme is a chance to look at all of the different ways that radio engages audiences, not only on-air but through “listening to listeners” in the planning and policy of radio.

World Radio Day 2018Edit

World Radio Day 2018 will be held on 13 February 2018 around the theme of "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. 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 will celebrate 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

International Radio CommitteeEdit

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 is formed by 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 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 February 13.

Official website : and


  1. ^ "UNESCO Session 187EX/13" (PDF). UNESCO. UNESCO. 26 Aug 2011. Retrieved 28 May 2012. The Director-General submits for the approval of the Executive Board, the feasibility study for the proclamation of a World Radio Day... 
  2. ^ UNESCO (10 Jul 2011). "13 February proposed as World Radio Day | United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization". UNESCO. Retrieved 28 May 2012. 
  3. ^ File 36 C/63, UNESCO's General Conference Resolution
  4. ^ Proclamation, Resolution 63
  5. ^ UN General Assembly file
  6. ^ "World Radio Day: What will you be doing?". Radio Info. 15 Jan 2012. Retrieved 28 May 2012. 
  7. ^ "A Pisa la Prima Giornata Mondiale della Radio :: Italradio :: ....perché c'è sempre una radio che trasmette in italiano". Italradio (in Italian). Italradio. 22 Jan 2012. Retrieved 28 May 2012. 
  8. ^ "Jornada Fia Mundial de la Radio" (PDF). PIMEC (in Catalan). PIMEC. Retrieved 28 May 2012. 
  9. ^ "Digital Radio Summit during Radio Week 2012". EBU. Retrieved 8 February 2012. 
  10. ^ "Photo Gallery: Worldwide Celebrations - World Radio Day 2015". UNESCO. Retrieved 9 March 2015. 
  11. ^ "Photo Gallery: Worldwide Celebrations - World Radio Day 2015". UNESCO. Retrieved 9 March 2015. 

External linksEdit