The United Nations(UN)’s World Telecommunication and Information Society Day(WTISD) is annually observed across the globe on 17th May to create awareness about the uses of the Internet and other information and communication technologies (ICT) in societies and economies. The day also aims to raise awareness about the ways to bridge the Digital divide.
WTISD 2023 is observed on 17th May 2023 under the theme – “Empowering the least developed countries through information and communication technologies”.
i.World Telecommunication Day has been celebrated annually on 17 May since 1969.
- The day marks the founding anniversary of the signing of the 1st International Telegraph Convention on 17 May 1865 in Paris, France and the creation of the International Telegraph Union(ITU)- now known as the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).
ii.The United Nations General Assembly(UNGA) adopted the resolution A/RES/60/252 on 27th March 2006 and proclaimed the 17th May of every year as World Information Society Day.
- The observance was proposed by the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in November 2005 to focus on the importance of ICT and the range of issues related to the Information Society raised by WSIS.
iii.In November 2006, the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference in Antalya, Turkey(Türkiye), decided to celebrate both events on 17 May as World Telecommunication and Information Society Day.
Around 407 million people in the least developed countries (LDCs) were using internet in 2022. This accounts for around 36% of the population compared to 66% globally.
720 million people in LDCs are still offline, this accounts for 27% of the global offline population.
- The LDC population accounts for only 14% of the world’s population.
About International Telecommunication Union (ITU):
ITU is the UN’s specialized agency for information and communication technologies – ICTs.
Secretary-General– Doreen Bogdan-Martin
Founded in 1865
Headquarters– Geneva, Switzerland