Roberto Savio (born in Rome) is an Italian/Argentine citizen.
An internationally renowned expert in communications issues, Roberto Savio has founded numerous news and information projects, always with an emphasis on the developing world: Inter Press Service (IPS) news agency, the pioneering Technological Information Pilot System (TIPS), the network of national information systems for Latin America and the Caribbean (ASIN), the Latin American features service ALASEI and the Women’s Feature Service. He is now IPS President Emeritus.
Savio He studied Economics at the University of Parma, and post-graduate courses in Development Economics with Gunnar Myrdal, as well as History of Art and International Law in Rome.
He started his professional career as a research assistant in International Law at the University of Parma.
Active as an international officer with Italy’s National Students Association and with the Young Christian Democrats, Savio was responsible for the Christian Democratic Party’s relations with developing countries before becoming international press chief for Italian Prime Minister Aldo Moro.
His career in the news media began with Italy’s daily Il Popolo and he went on to become Director for News Services for Latin America with RAI, Italy’s national broadcaster. After the 1973 coup d’etat in Chile, Savio left Italian politics to pursue journalism. He received a number of awards for TV documentaries, including the national Italian journalism award, the St. Vincent award. He has also produced five films, two of which were presented at the Venice and Cannes film festivals, and published several books, the latest of which is Verbo America, dealing with the cultural identity of Latin America.
Inter Press Service
In 1964, he established Inter Press Service , a non-profit cooperative of journalists and experts specialising in global communications for development. IPS grew to become the world’s fifth-largest news agency, providing daily balanced, in-depth and analytical coverage of the development process. It also offers communication services to improve South-South and South-North exchange and executes projects with international partners to open up communication channels to all social sectors. IPS has been recognised by the United Nations, holding NGO consultative status (category I) with ECOSOC. With the strengthening of the process of globalisation, IPS has dedicated itself to the global issues, and has become the press agency of the global civil society: it has more than 30,000 NGOs that subscribe to its services, and several million readers of its online services.
Since 1973, Savio has been a consultant on information and communication issues for many developing countries, designing the National Information Systems Network (ASIN) for Latin America and the Caribbean and the UNESCO-supported Latin American Features Service (ALASEI). He is the founder and managing director of the Technological Information Pilot System (TIPS) , a major U.N. project to implement and foster technological and economic cooperation between developing countries. He was also instrumental in setting up the Women’s Feature Service (WFS), initially an IPS service, now an independent NGO with headquarters in New Delhi. He has also been actively involved in promoting exchanges between regional information services, such as between ALASEI and the Organisation of Asian News Agencies (OANA) and between the Pan-African News Agency (PANA) and the Federation of Arab News Agencies (FANA).
Savio has been actively involved at the technical level with international communication issues, introducing the Development Press Bulletin Service Tariff in UNESCO’s International Commission for the Study of Communication Problems (the MacBride Commission).
He has also worked closely in the field of information and communication with a variety of international organisations, such as UNDP, UNEP, UNFPA, UNICEF and UNITAR. After several years of being a member of the governing council of the Society for International Development (SID), the oldest international organisation of the civil society on development, he has been elected Secretary General for three terms, and is now the Secretary General Emeritus, with Enrique Iglesias as Chair.
Since October 1999 he has served as Senior Adviser for Strategies and Communication to the Director General of the International Labour Organisation. Also since that date he has been on the Board of Training Centre for Regional Integration of Latin America.
In 2000, he worked as Consultant for Internal Communications Strategy to Ms. Catherine Bertini, Executive Director of World Food Programme for a year.
He is President of Indoamerica, an Argentine NGO that promotes education in areas suffering social breakdown, in poor areas of Argentina.
He has been part of the International Committee of the World Social Forum since it was established in 2001, and elected as Coordinator of the "Media, Culture and Counter-Hegemony" thematic area at the WSF 2003.
He is co-founder of Media Watch International, based in Paris, of which he is Secretary General, and founded the Internet service, Othernews, which distributes daily analysis on international issues, particularly the themes of global governance and multilateralism, to several thousand of policy-makers, and leaders of civil society.
He is also Chairman of the Board of the Alliance for a New Humanity, an international foundation established in Puerto Rico, that since 2001 is promoting the culture of Peace. Its board has among others, the thinker Deepak Chopra, the Spanish judge Balthazar Garzon, the Nobel Prizes Oscar Arias and Betty Williams and the philanthropists Ray Chambers and Solomon Levis.
Roberto Savio's antipathy toward Western capitalism has emerged several occasions. For instance, in a 1980 interview he expressed great optimism for Southeast Asia now that the United States had withdrawn and "Iiberated the people from all the horrors of capitalism." On Castro's expulsion of the unwanted from Cuba in the Mariel boatlift, Savio said, "I think to send out 200,000 people is a very brilliant solution to the keeping inside of 100,000 opponents." Savio also feels that when conditions require it, "radicalism and extremism become a very valuable way of political committment for a people who feel politically motivated".
Cuban/KGB agent Philip Agee was connected with Inter Press Service through his friend and anti-CIA collaborator Phil Kelly, who served as Inter Press's London bureau chief. Inter Press, like Institute for Policy Studies/Transnational Institute , was involved in a global effort to create a New International Information Order (NIIO), a sister project to the New International Economic Order (NIEO).
Italian Christian Democratic Party
Inter Press Service
In 1964 Savio founded the Inter Press Service. Before founding the IPS, Savio was the international press chief for Italian Prime Minister Aldo Moro. At the time, he was Director for News Services for Latin America with RAI, Italy’s national broadcaster.
In 1984, Savio founded ALASEI, a Latin American features service in Mexico.
Society for International Development
Food and Agriculture Organization
In 1997 Savio accepted the A.H. Boerma Award from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization on behalf of the Inter Press Service. The IPS and the Association of Food and Agriculture Journalists were co-winners of the award that year. At the time Savio was serving as the Director-General of the IPS. In an interview following the prize-giving, Savio reflected on the IPS's rejection of localized solutions to local problems:
- "For IPS the challenge is to show the meaning of each event in a global context. The solutions to the issues that concern IPS - the environment, women, human rights - aren't local; they're all global."
Savio also stated in the interview that the IPS had sided with the FAO for 34 years.
Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
Savio has been actively involved with international communication issues, introducing the Development Press Bulletin Service Tariff in the UN's [Scientific and Cultural Organization] International Commission for the Study of Communication Problems.
Technological Information Pilot System
Savio founded and was the managing director of the Technological Information Pilot System, a major UN project to implement and foster technological and economic co-operation between developing countries.
Media Watch International
Alliance for a New Humanity
International Labor Organization
Council of Europe
World Food Program
World Social Forum
Savio has served on the international committee of the World Social Forum since it was created in 2001, and since 2003 he has been coordinator of the 'media, culture and counter-hegemony' thematic area. He has been cited as being probably among the best informed insiders at the Forum. He was a member of the International Committee of the Porto Alegre World Social Forum, coordinator of the "Media, Culture and Counter-Hegemony" thematic area of the third World Forum in 2003. Describing the nature of the forum in 2008, Savio stated:
- "The WSF is not a movement against globalisation; it is a movement against the kind of globalisation which is based only on the values of market and profit. That is a globalisation spawned by the Washington Consensus, the call for a New International Order made in the late eighties by the International Financial Institutions and the U.S. Treasury Department."
Porto Alegre Manifesto
Savio was one of nineteen authors of the Porto Alegre Manifesto which was released at the 2005 World Social Forum held in Porto Alegre, Brazil. The following is a list of the authors of the manifesto:
The manifesto endorses such policies as canceling debt for southern countries, outlawing patents for knowledge on living things, the dismantling of all foreign military bases save those of the UN, and the incorporation of the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organization into the UN.
- Verbo America, deals with the cultural identity of Latin America
- Human Rights: The New Concensus
- Bringing two worlds together: Cooperation between journalism and research
- Inter Press Service website
- Other News website, founded by Savio; distributes daily analysis on international issues
- ↑ IPS Roberto Savio bio, accessed july 7, 2013
- ↑ Covert Cadre, S. Stephen Powell, page 138/9
- ↑ Covert Cadre, S. Stephen Powell, page 139
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 The World Political Forum website: Roberto Savio biography
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 IPS website: Interview with Roberto Savio, Jan. 9, 2008
- ↑ Food and Agriculture Organization website: FAO gives honours for good work, Dec. 19, 1997
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Alliance for a New Humanity website: Roberto Savio biography
- ↑ Keywiki: Porto Alegre Manifesto
- ↑ IPS website: Roberto Savio biography