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Podcast Classics

UN Photo/MB

World famous voices weave the ‘pattern’ of refugee lives for UNHCR

He was a charismatic and engaging star of stage and screen, and in 1959, the United Nations asked him to lend his talents to support efforts to aid the world’s refugees.

Russian-born actor, filmmaker and photographer Yul Brynner was appointed a special consultant to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in connection with World Refugee Year. He visited refugee camps around the world and, through his work — including film and radio — helped highlight the plight of millions of displaced people.

UN Photo/Albert Fox

The ‘fight against time’ towards healthier living for all

As the World Health Organization (WHO) turns 70 this weekend (7 April), we’re turning back the clock 60 years when the “fight against time” to end epidemics, killer diseases and chronic illness was in its infancy.

For this edition of our Podcast Classics series, we’ve reached into the archives of UN Radio to bring you “Ten Steps Forward”, a podcast before the genre had a name, narrated by British stage and screen actor Michael Redgrave, looking at WHO’s first 10 years.

UN Photo/B Lane

1975's UN rallying cry for ‘colonized and underdeveloped’ women of the world

As the women’s liberation movement gathered pace across the world in the 1970s, the UN responded by designating 1975 the first ever International Women’s Year.

For this edition of our Podcast Classics series, in honour of International Women’s Day, we’re taking you back to that watershed moment which saw the first World Conference on Women take place in Mexico City.

UN Photo/Yutaka Nagata

Edward R Murrow joins forces with UN Radio to highlight Europe’s children in need

To mark World Radio Day, celebrated on 13 February, UN News has reached back into our audio archives to a classic collaboration between UN Radio and the great broadcaster Edward R Murrow.

The voice of World War Two for millions of Americans, Murrow put his talents at the disposal of the UN in 1948, to produce a searing and moving radio documentary on the plight of Europe’s children.

The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) came into being two years earlier, to combat famine and disease across the war-torn landscape of the shattered continent.

UN Photo/Ky Chung

Ancient Greece meets “the greatest” — Muhammad Ali and peace through sport

In this latest edition of our Podcast Classics series, we’re going to be connecting the dots between Ancient Greece, rising tensions on the Korean Peninsula, and the boxer the world knows, simply, as “the greatest”: Muhammad Ali.

With the Winter Olympics due to begin on 9 February in South Korea, the world is holding its breath to see if the decision for both North and South to march under a united flag at the opening ceremony, can translate into real negotiation over North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme.

UNHCR/Eugene Sibomana

Hollywood helps highlight Europe’s 20th Century refugee crisis

In 1959, Hollywood stars Gregory Peck and Doris Day were at the height of their careers.

But thanks to the former First Lady of the United States, Eleanor Roosevelt, - a delegate to the first ever UN General Assembly session in 1946 - that was the year they took part in what was arguably the most star-studded show ever produced by UN Radio.

“Life Begins At Ten”, tells the story of the last great European refugee crisis - before today’s era of epic life-and-death struggles on the part of refugees and migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean.


The man who defined genocide: 'The Lid is On' podcast classic

Raphael Lemkin is hardly a household name these days, but back in the 1940s he became the driving force behind what would become The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.

An American of Polish-Jewish descent, Lemkin coined the term genocide after dedicating his life to pursuing the international legal means to end the barbarity of mass extermination.