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Thanks to the kind invitation of UNESCO, I am particularly happy to welcome you in Paris on October 19 2012 to the 64th general Assembly of the URTI . I thank the Director General Mrs Irina Bokova for this historical partner of which we have been upholding the values of sharing in the audiovisual domain since 1949. Her personal support allowed our Union to get the statute of association with the UNESCO.
The public radiobroadcasters of 34 countries became members of the URTI these last three years. This unprecedented success is due to the reinforcement of the activities of our Union which offers to its members free access, in radio and in television, to its exchange catalogues of quality programmes. In a context of financial pressure, the new digital platforms will quicken the need for contents. The future relies on exchanges, and this opens up greats opportunities for our Union!
Present in Africa, in the Arab World and in Europe, our Union affirms its global vocation by opening up to Asia and to South-America. I welcome the recent memberships of Vietnamese and Brezilian public broadcasters. This year we have launched an original Web ECT (Exchange, Coproduction, Transmission) cooperation platform through which we now manage all our cooperation activities as well as our Grand Prix. Let me just underline the importance of these competitions, as URTI is now among the greatest international audiovisual awards with 81participating countries in 2011 (record that will be overcame this year). We share this success with all the international audiovisual organizations that partner these awards. Paris is known as a cosmopolitan capital in which bridges between cultures are built. We will welcome you from all over the world, not only to enjoy the view of the 37 bridges crossing the Seine, but also to further strengthen the cultural links existing between the 65 broadcasters member of URTI. Welcome in Paris!
President of URTI
Chairman of Radio France
Mr President, Ladies and Gentlemen,
We have come a long way together.
We joined forces to build the online Exchange Platform.
This allows broadcasters to channel knowledge into the homes of millions of citizens – opening up new horizons in 44 countries, 22 of which are African.
With this, more than 300 radio producers, directors and managers can communicate programme needs, identify and exchange features and documentaries.
We must look forward now to the work still to be done.
Our challenge is to bridge the knowledge divide, to help people adapt to and understand a fast-changing world.
We must continue to offer guidance and technical advice, better indicators, more relevant content and capacities -- to build stronger and more inclusive knowledge societies.
I thank you for your support and wish you a very successful General Assembly.
Director General of UNESCO