World Telecommunication and Information Society Day or World Telecommunication Day is an annual celebration of the United Nations observed every 17th May to highlight the role of information and communication technology in today’s’ world. Since 1969, the World Telecommunication Day has been celebrated on 17th May which marked the establishment and signing of ITU in 1865. In 1973, the Plenipotentiary Conference was established under Resolution 46 in Malaga-Torremolinos.
The World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD) is celebrated with an aim to raise awareness benefits that the use of internet and other information and communication technologies will bring societies and economies together as well as of ways to bridge the digital divide. This day also marks the anniversary of the signing of the first International Telegraph Convention and also the creation of the International telecommunication Union.
Theme of World Telecommunication and Information Society Day 2020 is: Connect 2030- ICTs for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
This year’s theme highlights the progress of ICT towards smart and sustainable growth. It will focus on specific solutions that support ICT and emerging trends in order to encourage economic, environmental, and social sustainability.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (SDG) and 17 Sustainable Development Goals were approved by the United Nations General Assembly under the Resolution A/70/1 which recognizes that the spread of ICT and global connectivity has the potential to accelerate the progress of human beings and to overcome the digital divide.
This year 2020, represents a unique opportunity for the ITU membership to mark the contribution of ICT’s for the advancement of Information society and also to present the Connect 2030 Agenda for Global Telecommunication / ICT Development.
The World Telecommunication and Information Society Day 2020 will allow ITU members and other key stakeholders to reaffirm a collective global view of the digital world of information technology. The Connect 2030 Agenda should be adopted and encouraged as a contribution by ICT to accelerate the achievement of SDGs.
Formally, this day was known as World Telecommunication Day but in November 2005, during world summit on Information Society invited UN General Assembly to declare 17th May as the World Information Society Day which reflects the importance of ICT and the large range of information society concerns that WSIS raised. In March 2006, the General Assembly adopted a resolution (A / RES/60/252) stipulating that the World Information Society Day is to be observed on 17 May each year. The ITU Plenipotentiary Conference in Antalya, Turkey, agreed in November 2006 to mark both activities as World Day of Telecommunication and Information Society on 17 May.
The new updated Resolution 68 invites the Member States and industry members to mark this day every year by coordinating suitable national programs with an aim to stimulate thought and sharing ideas on the theme adopted by the council with all stakeholders of society debating different aspects of the theme and drafting a report representing regional debates on the themes to be sent back to the ITU and the rest of its membership.
Importance of WTISD
The main goal of World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD) is to increase awareness about the possibilities of societies, communities, and opportunities of overcoming the digital gap through the use of the Internet and other ICTs. Like its predecessors, World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD) focus on a particular theme for each event.