UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said radio can unite and empower communities and give voice to the marginalised.
"Radio reaches the widest audience in the world," the UN chief said in a message marking World Radio Day that falls on February 13.
In an era of dramatic advances in communications, he said, radio retains its power to entertain, educate, inform and inspire.
"On World Radio Day, let us celebrate both radio and sports as ways of helping people to achieve their full potential," said Guterres.
He said this year with the Winter Olympics now underway, they can also recognise the many ways in which sports broadcasting brings people together around excitement and achievements.
Director-General of Unesco Audrey Azoulay on the occasion of World Radio Day said Unesco is dedicating World Radio Day to the theme of radio and sports.
"The radio is a powerful means to transmit the enthusiasm of sport events. It's also a means to convey the values of fair play, teamwork and equality in sport," she said.
The Unesco DG said radio can help combat racist and xenophobic stereotypes that are, alas, expressed both on and off the field. "It allows a broad range of traditional sports to be covered, far beyond the elite teams. It provides the opportunity to nurture diversity, as a force for dialogue and tolerance."
Azoulay said the fight for gender equality is central to this effort and according to the report of the Global Media Monitoring Project, supported by Unesco, only 4 percent of sports media content is dedicated to women's sport. Only 12 percent of sports news is presented by women.
She said Unesco is working to improve the coverage of women's sports, combat gender discrimination on the airwaves and to promote equal opportunities in sports media. "The task is immense."
"On World Radio Day, let us mobilize to make radio an increasingly independent and pluralistic media. Let us join forces to celebrate the potential of sports radio in furthering development and peace," she added.
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