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Live UN radio broadcasts 'revolutionary innovation,' Committee on Information told

Live UN radio broadcasts 'revolutionary innovation,' Committee on Information told

United Nations Radio's live daily newscasts had proved a "revolutionary innovation" in the Department of Public Information's (DPI) efforts to more effectively communicate its message to a global audience, but Member States must decide if they want to convert the pilot project into a permanent international radio broadcasting capacity, the top Department official has stated.

In remarks yesterday to the resumed session of the UN's Committee on Information, Shashi Tharoor, Interim Head of DPI, said using a universally accessible medium had enabled the UN to broadcast news of its developments to every region of the world.

UN Radio programmes had brought a new energy to the work of the Department, and had also served "to open up" the Organization, to make its work more transparent, and to give it a "local voice," he said. That was the aim of all UN information activities, of which the radio project was a key component, Mr. Tharoor added.

The Department has no mandate, however, to continue live radio programming beyond the current year and there are no budgeted resources for the upcoming biennium, Mr. Tharoor said. It would cost an estimated $3.5 million to continue the project for 2002-03. Member States must now decide if the Department was to build upon its success, and convert a "pilot" project into a "permanent" international radio broadcasting capacity, Mr. Tharoor concluded.