The establishment of an International radio celebration was initially suggested by Spain in the scope of UNESCO: the General Assembly soon agreed to the proposal and, in 2011, it voted in favour of a resolution that established that the World Radio Day would be celebrated on February 13th, when, in 1946, the United Nations Radio had been founded. The resolution recognized the importance of dedicating radio an anniversary to raise awareness about its importance, encourage international cooperation among broadcasters and foster access to information; finally, it requested the Director – General to bring the initiative to the attention of the Secretary General of the United Nations.
In 2012, the UN General Assembly voted in favour of the establishment of the celebration, within a resolution about information and related UN policies. As a matter of fact, the international organization has got its Department of Global Communications, which was created in 1946 (when its name was Department of Public Information): its mission is, as reported on its website, to inform about the UN’s ideals and work, as well as fostering support for peace, sustainable development and human rights – it was exactly in the scope of this division that its official broadcasting station was founded in 1946.
According to the UN, today radio still represents a platform for democratic discourse and it is still the most used medium: its low price makes it possible to use it to reach out to remote communities and vulnerable individuals, allowing them to access the public debate regardless of their education – this refers to, for example, high illiteracy rates that still persist in several parts of the world, which particularly affect some population groups, such as women and poor classes; moreover, it proves strategic when it comes to emergency and disaster communications.
Despite the fast spread of the internet and social networks in the last few years, radio continues therefore to represent a fundamental medium for millions of people.