Facts & Figures

The purpose of World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD) is to help raise awareness of the possibilities that the use of the Internet and other information and communication technologies (ICT) can bring to societies and economies, as well as of ways to bridge the digital divide. World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD), like its predecessors, focuses on a particular theme for each event.

This year, we celebrate the 50th anniversary of World Telecommunication and Information Society Day which has been celebrated annually since 1969. The Day marks the founding of ITU on 17 May 1865 when the first International Telegraph Convention was signed in Paris.

Setting standards is a fundamental pillar of ITU's mission as the specialized agency of the United Nations for information and communication technologies (ICTs). ITU standards help accelerate ICTs for all Sustainable Development Goals.

The 2019 theme will allow ITU Membership and other key stakeholders to focus on the opportunities for:

  • participation of developing countries in ITU's standards-making process;
  • empowering local experts in the standardization process at the national, regional and international levels; and
  • promoting the implementation of international standards in developing countries.

Source: https://www.itu.int/en/wtisd/2019/Pages/default.aspx



 


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.