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Empowering the least developed countries through information and communication technologies




World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD) focuses this year on “Empowering the least developed countries through information and communication technologies.” Taking place on 17 May 2023, on the Day ITU calls on the public and private sectors to make pledges for universal connectivity and digital transformation in these countries through its Partner2Connect Digital Coalition.

We invite you to celebrate ITU’s birthday on 17 May either at its Headquarters, or remotely, starting 2.30 pm CEST. Stay tuned for the programme. Meanwhile, already book your seat!

Mid-way through the Decade of Action on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), those countries face daunting challenges.

The Fifth Conference on the Least Developed Countries(LDC5) in Doha, Qatar, has set out an ambitious new United Nations programme of action to deliver on sustainable development for all by 2030.

LDCs are the world’s greatest untapped resource, whose needs must be addressed to achieve the SDGs. About one third of the 2.7 billion people who remain unconnected to the Internet are in the 46 LDCs.

Investment in these young, vibrant countries can drive sustainable growth for generations.

Together, let’s make 2023 a year of progress for digital transformation in the least developed countries.

WTISD has been celebrated annually every 17 May since 1969. It marks the signing of the first International Telegraph Convention and founding of ITU in 1865.



 


World Telecommunication Day has been celebrated annually on 17 May since 1969, marking the founding of ITU and the signing of the first International Telegraph Convention in 1865.

It was instituted by the Plenipotentiary Conference in Malaga-Torremolinos in 1973.




In November 2005, the World Summit on the Information Society called upon the UN General Assembly to declare 17 May as World Information Society Day to focus on the importance of ICT and the wide range of issues related to the Information Society raised by WSIS.

The General Assembly adopted a resolution (A/RES/60/252) in March 2006 stipulating that World Information Society Day shall be celebrated every year on 17 May.




In November 2006, the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference in Antalya, Turkey, decided to celebrate both events on 17 May as:

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World Telecommunication and Information Society Day.