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Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio and Communication (BNNRC) selected as the UN World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Prize 2016 Winner

Please accept our best compliments on behalf of the Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio and Communication (BNNRC) Secretariat. BNNRC is in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and accredited with World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) of the United Nations.

BNNRC is the apex body of the community media sector to Government, Industry, Regulatory Bodies, Media and Development Partners in Bangladesh. BNNRC actively works to improve recognition of the community electronic media sector [Community Radio, Community TV, Community Film] & its work in and involvement with the communities it seeks to serve from 2000. www.bnnrc.net

It is with great pleasure to inform you that Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio and Communication (BNNRC)’s project Youth Women in Community Radio: the beginning of a new era in community broadcasting journalism of Bangladesh has won the UN World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Prize 2016 for the Action Line 9 “Media” supported by Free Press Unlimited The Netherlands. [http://www.itu.int/net4/wsis/forum/2016/]

Now 16 Community Radio Stations are on-air in Bangladesh aiming to ensure empowerment and right to information for the rural community. They are broadcasting altogether 125 hours program per day on information, education, local entertainment and development motivation activities. Around 1000, Youth Women & Youth are now working with those Stations throughout the country as rural broadcasters

Potentials of Community Radio in Bangladesh are Community Radio has created scope for the poor and marginalized community to raise their own voice; it becomes the voice for the voiceless, these neo-media outlets opened scope to establish their rights to Information and communication in social, political, cultural and environmental arena, Scope widened for poverty reduction and sustainable development because of the rights to raise voice of the community and accessibility to knowledge and information, Scope opened for exchange of dialogue between local elected representatives, govt. and NGO professionals for the sake of establishing good governance, Direct linkage established between the community and the main sectors reflected in SDGs and 7th 5-year plan, Scope created for Social debate, inclusion and preservation of cultural diversity by ensuring the inclusion of the marginalized community, Community Radio is now able to play more active role in Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) due to establishment of effective linkage between the govt. departments and local/rural community.

In order to provide the opportunity for both Winners and Champions to promote recognition prior to the WSIS Prizes 2016 Ceremony on 3 May 2016 during the WSIS Forum 2016 (2-6 May in Geneva, Switzerland)

World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) project prizes is a unique recognition for excellence in the implementation of WSIS outcomes. The United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) resolution 2014/27 "Assessment of the progress made in the implementation of - and follow-up to the outcomes of the World Summit on the Information Society", that reiterates the importance of sharing the best practices at the global level, and while recognizing excellence in the implementation of the projects and initiatives that further, the goals of the WSIS, encourages all stakeholders to nominate their projects for the annual WSIS Project Prizes, as an integral part of the WSIS Stocktaking process, while noting the report on the WSIS success stories.

After an intensive Online Voting phase, which ended on March 10th 2016, BNNRC’s project was among the most voted. Upon the Expert Group’s review of the 5 top voted projects, BNNRC has been selected as the winning one. As a result of the 2016 WSIS Open Consultation Process, it was decided to also recognize the efforts and great work of WSIS project runner-ups as WSIS Prizes 2016 Champions, additional to the WSIS Prizes 2016 Winners.

ITU, UNESCO, UNCTAD and UNDP welcome all WSIS Stakeholders to the WSIS Forum 2016 to be held from 2–6 May 2016. This event builds upon the tradition of annual WSIS May meetings, and its format is the result of open consultations with all WSIS Stakeholders. Emerging trends in 11 WSIS Action Lines both in terms of Policy and Technology are produced as an Outcome of WSIS Forum in a multi-stakeholder environment on an annual basis.

The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) is a unique two-phase United Nations (UN) summit that was initiated in order to create an evolving multi- stakeholder platform aimed at addressing the issues raised by information and communication technologies (ICTs) through a structured and inclusive approach at the national, regional and international levels.

The goal of WSIS is to achieve a common vision, desire, and commitment to build a people-centric, inclusive and development-oriented Information Society where everyone can create, access, utilize and share information. The WSIS Forum 2016 represents the world's largest annual gathering of the ‘ICT for development’ community.

The WSIS Forum, co-organized by ITU, UNESCO, UNDP and UNCTAD, in close collaboration with all WSIS Action Line Facilitators/Co-Facilitators

UNDESA, FAO,UNEP, WHO, UNWomen, WIPO, WFP, ILO, WMO, UN, ITC, UPU, UNODC,and UN Regional Commissions has proven to be an efficient mechanism for coordination of multi-stakeholder implementation activities, information exchange, creation of knowledge, sharing of best practices and continues to provide assistance in developing multi-stakeholder and public/private partnerships to advance development goals. This forum will provide structured opportunities to network learn and participate in multi-stakeholder discussions and consultations on WSIS implementation.

The WSIS Project Prizes 2016 contest (http://groups.itu.int/stocktaking/WSISPrizes/WSISPrizes2016.aspx#champion-projects) provides the platform to identify and showcase the success stories and models that could be easily replicated, to empower the community at the local level, to give the chance to everyone to participate in the contest and mainly to recognize the efforts of stakeholders for their added value to society and commitment towards achieving WSIS goals.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your invaluable contribution towards BNNRC, which is a key to our success in line with community electronic media for development (CEM4D) in Bangladesh and ensuring voices of the rural people in line with UN SDG.