On 14th January 2013, the United Nations General Assembly formally endorsed the UNESCO proclamation of World Radio Day. During its 67th Session, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming 13th February every year as United Nations Radio Day, which was established in 1946 as World Radio Day.The objectives of the day are to raise among the public and the media greater awareness of the importance of radio; to encourage decision-makers to establish and provide access to information through radio; and to enhance networking and international cooperation among broadcasters.In 2018, UNESCO is dedicating World Radio Day to the theme of radio and sports. In his message, UN Secretary-General António Guterres outlined that even in an era of dramatic advances in communications, radio retains its power to entertain, educate, inform, and inspire. “It can unite and empower communities, and give voice to the marginalized. This year, with the Winter Olympics now underway, we can also recognise the many ways in which sports broadcasting brings people together around excitement and achievements.”In light of this year’s theme, he therefore encouraged everyone to celebrate both radio and sports as ways of helping people to achieve their full potential.Audrey Azoulay, the Director-General of UNESCO, advocated making radio more independent and pluralistic in her message on the occasion of the 7th World Radio Day. She noted that Radio can help combat racist and xenophobic stereotypes that are expressed both on and off the field, as it allows a broad range of traditional sports to be covered far beyond the elite teams. It also provides the opportunity to nurture diversity as a force for dialogue and tolerance.“The fight for gender equality is central to this effort. According to the report of the Global Media Monitoring Project, supported by UNESCO, only 4% of sports media content is dedicated to women’s sport. Only 12% of sports news is presented by women. UNESCO is working to improve the coverage of women’s sports, to combat gender discrimination on the airwaves, and to promote equal opportunities in sports media. The task is immense,” Azoulay stressed. UNESCO also called on all radio stations around the world to showcase the beauty of sports in all of its diversity.In commemoration of the event, the Guyana Press Association (GPA) emphasized, too, that even today, radio is still hailed as critical to empowerment and education.The local body reaffirmed its understanding that it is through the coverage of traditional and grassroots sporting games that radio can reconnect people with their cultural heritage, while also promoting the freedom of expression and diversity through cultural expression.In their statement to commemorate the day, the GPA acknowledged that, in Guyana, there has been a continued decline in sports coverage on radio. The Association therefore expressed the hope of working with all stakeholders in an effort to bring about change, as it recognises that Radio, even in days of social media, still has the ability to empower the masses.Radio is the mass medium reaching the widest audience in the world. It is also recognised as a powerful communication tool and a low-cost medium. It is specifically suited to reach remote communities and vulnerable people: the illiterate, the disabled, women, youth and the poor; while offering a platform to intervene in the public debate, irrespective of people’s educational level. Furthermore, radio has a strong and specific role in emergency communication and disaster relief.Radio broadcast in Guyana is reported to have had its founding in the late 1920s, when experimental shortwave broadcasts received from Daventry, England were initiated, not long after the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) was itself established in 1922.After broadcasting for a few hours each week, the shortwave service ended suddenly in 1931 due to economic constraints, and it wasn’t until 1935 that radio resumed when the Marylebone Cricket Club visited the colony, and local demand for cricket commentary prompted the establishment of radio stations VP3BG and later VP3MR.The two stations are said to have been the first two radio stations established in the English- speaking Caribbean, and became popular for their cricket commentaries, music, and religious programmes. Today, radio programming in Guyana caters to a diverse ethnic demographic which covers both AM and FM broadcast bands. 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. By listening to its audiences and responding to their needs, radio provides the diversity of views and voices needed to address the challenges we all face. Everyone should mobilise to make radio an increasingly independent and pluralistic media. We should therefore join forces to celebrate the potential of sports radio.
The World Bank says its commitments to help developing countries, including those in the Caribbean, take on poverty and boost opportunity reached nearly US billion in loans, grants, equity investments and guarantees in fiscal year 2017 (July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017).“With aspirations of the poor on the rise, and overlapping crises, such as forced displacement, famine and climate change adding urgency to our mission, our staff this year worked to provide marked increases in financing from IDA, IFC, and MIGA,” said World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim on Tuesday.IDA is the abbreviation for International Development Association, IFC for International Finance Corporation and MIGA for Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency.“While this year we have had to actively manage IBRD (International Bank for Reconstruction and Development) lending, the Board and management are discussing approaches to ensure adequate capacity across the World Bank Group to best help countries achieve their development goals,” Kim said.“As always, we are committed to working with our member countries and other partners to crowd in private investment and maximise resources for the poor,” he added. The World Bank said commitments from IBRD, which provides development knowledge to countries, combined with financing and risk management products, amounted to US$22.6 billion in FY17.“This reflects the Bank’s careful attention to ensuring continued strong capital adequacy ratios and prudent financial management into the future, while responding to client countries’ most pressing development challenges,” the World Bank said.It said commitments from the IDA, which provides zero or low-interest loans and grants to the world’s 77 poorest countries, hit US$19.5 billion in FY17.“IDA’s increased commitments reflect strong demand for financing, as well as IDA’s efforts to better leverage resources and expand financing options for borrowing countries,” the World Bank said. “FY17 continued to reflect very high demand for IDA financing from clients, fully committing the three-year resource envelope of IDA17.”The Bank said these efforts include an additional US$3.9 billion allocated for non-concessional lending to finance transformational projects in qualified IDA countries.Increased financing has also allowed IDA to respond rapidly to global crises.The World Bank said the IFC, the largest global development institution, focused exclusively on the Private Sector, leveraged its capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities wherever they were needed most.Preliminary and unaudited data as of June 30 indicated that IFC’s long-term investments totalled about US$18.7 billion, including funds mobilised from other investors. (Jamaica Observer)