World Press Freedom Day AMARC calls for a right to communicate for radio broadcasting free, unrestricted and accessible for all!

Montreal, April 27th, 2012. 3 May was proclaimed World Press Freedom Day the UN General Assembly in 1993 following a Recommendation adopted at the UNESCO's General Conference in 1991. It serves as an occasion to inform citizens of violations of press freedom. In dozens of countries around the world, radios are censored, fined, or simply didn’t have licence to broadcast legally, while journalists and radio directors are harassed, attacked, detained and even murdered. After having added, to AMARC request, community media collaborators to the list of journalist to protect by the UN, UNESCO just recognized in April 2012 AMARC as an association member. This is a huge victory for community and associative radios.
«New Voices: Media Freedom Helping to Transform Societies»: this is the theme for World Press Freedom Day 2012. On the occasion of the International Conference that will be held in Tunis from March 3th to 5th and organized by the UNESCO, AMARC calls for the freedom to install and to access to the electromagnetic spectrum for radios, in particular for associative and community radios, and a fair frequencies allocation.
AMARC affirms that civil society’s radio broadcasters represent a new border of communication. They are those who play an essential role in war zones in case of climate and natural disasters in the information and protection of populations and in rebuilding processes.
On the occasion of constitutional reforms in several Arab countries, a unique opportunity is given to pass from a frequencies allocation dominated by corruption and seizure to a more fair and righteous access in favour of civil society media, more particularly community radios. Everywhere across the globe, community radios should be able to develop and to work in a secure economical and judicial environment. Their right to broadcast should be recognized and reinforced.
2012 is also the year of an exceptional conjuncture. It is in Tunis that was adopted on March 14th the «AMARC Declaration of Tunis» at the end of a conference for the development of independent radios. This Declaration emphasizes the importance of associative radios in Tunisia and in the Arab region, for the development and the conservation of democracy as well as for the economic development.
On this occasion, AMARC asks the States and governments, as well as the press and radio broadcasting regulatory authorities to respect their commitment to press freedom and radio broadcasting. AMARC wishes to see new and stronger regulatory authorities. For Emmanuel Boutterin, AMARC executive vice-president, «Those authorities have to be independent from governments private consortiums and telecoms and their existence and functioning should be guaranteed by constitutional means. It is the essential condition for pluralism and freedom of expression on the air.» For this, « only community and associative radios allow civil society organizations to access to the public realm, and this function should be recognized by the international community».
Through service to members, networking and project implementation, the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC), brings together a network of more than 4,000 community radios, Federations and community media stakeholders in more than 130 countries. The main global impact of AMARC since its creation in 1983, has been to accompany and support the establishment of a worldwide community radio sector that has democratized the media sector. AMARC advocates for the right to communicate at the international, national, local and neighbourhood levels and defends and promotes the interests of the community radio movement through solidarity, networking and cooperation.

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