For information only - not an official document.
Press Release No: UNIS/PI/218
Release Date:  8 September 2000
 United Nations Launches Live Radio Broadcasts in Six Languages

NEW YORK, 6 September (UN Headquarters) -- As the Millennium Summit of the General Assembly commences, the United Nations Department of Public Information has launched live radio broadcasts in the six official languages of the Organization, targeting audiences in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Europe and the Caribbean.  The daily current affairs broadcasts  -- in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish, Monday to Friday -- consist of news, interviews, background reports, features, updates from peacekeeping missions and coverage of activities of United Nations organizations around the world.

 These United Nations Radio programmes are being carried on short-wave, distributed by satellite and broadcast by national and regional radio networks in most parts of the world.  They are also posted on the United Nations Web site ( from where they can be heard, or be used by radio stations for broadcast.  

The live radio project is part of the Department’s current drive for more direct global outreach to the world’s media from United Nations Headquarters.  The overall goal is to bridge the gap among developing countries, and improve their ability to access United Nations news and other information materials instantaneously.  The Web-based United Nations News Centre, which started last year, is part of this effort, and an e-mail based United Nations News Service will begin during the current General Assembly session.   

The new radio initiative is being carried out with the cooperation of a consortium of national, regional and international partner stations and communications networks which will provide broadcasting facilities for the programmes.  Channel Africa, the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, Namibia Broadcasting Corporation, Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, Kenya Broadcasting Corporation, La Voix du Sahel, Radio Mali, Radio Ndeke Luka (Central African Republic), Radio Burundi, Radio Togo, Radio Cairo, Moroccan Radio and Television and Radio Senegal are among the partner radio stations receiving and broadcasting the programmes in Africa.  Other radio networks in Europe, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean include Voice of Russia, China Radio International (CRI), La Voz de los Andes, Radio Cooperativa, Cadena Nacional, Radio Havana, Colmundo, Radio Nacional de Costa Rica, Grupo Sipse, Radio Abu Dhabi and Radio Bahrain.   

Merlin Communications, Caribbean Media Corporation and Radio for Peace International are among the more than 100 broadcasting networks offering distribution and broadcasting facilities for this radio programme worldwide.  During this week, the broadcasts will provide full coverage of the Millennium  Summit debate in the Assembly as well as running summaries of other related events.

 The live radio project, which is in its pilot phase, was made possible through a resolution of the General Assembly.  The purpose of the radio pilot is to test the feasibility of developing a full United Nations international radio broadcasting capacity in support of the communication needs of the United Nations.

 United Nations Radio started its first broadcast in 1946 with the call-sign “This is the United Nations calling the peoples of the world.”  From 1953 until 1985, United Nations Radio programmes were broadcast worldwide over the transmission network of the Voice of America.  Subsequently, United Nations Radio programmes were distributed only on tape in 15 languages.  In 1998, United Nations Radio began to use the Internet for dissemination.  

 Information about United Nations Radio, the short-wave broadcast schedule and about partner radio stations in different regions and other production languages can be obtained from the Audio-Visual Promotion and Distribution Unit (AVPDU):  fax (212)-963-6869, telephone (212)-963-1807.  Requests to receive and rebroadcast United Nations Radio daily programmes in the six official languages should also be directed to AVPDU.  You can send your comments, requests and inquiries by e-mail to

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