World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (W.T.I.S.D.) is observed annually on May 17 to increase global awareness of the social and economic benefits the Internet and information and communication technology (ICT) can offer. It also aims to increase awareness of methods for bridging the digital divide. In the digital era, the Internet and ICT have proved indispensable in addressing the world’s challenges. And global cooperation is necessary to reduce the digital divide so that everyone has access to new technologies and can communicate.
The background of World Information Society Day
The first World Telecommunications Day was observed on May 17, 1969. It commemorates the 1865 establishment of the International Telecommunication Union and the first International Telegraph Convention. The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed May 17 as World Information Society Day in March 2006. In November 2006, the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference in Antalya, Turkey, decided to observe both World Telecommunication and Information Society Day and Information Society Day on May 17.
ITU is a specialised United Nations agency in control of information and communication technology-related matters. As the earliest agency of the United Nations, it was founded as the International Telegraph Union. Initially, I.T.U. intended to connect telegraphic networks between countries. In 1934, the ITU changed its name to the International Telecommunication Union to reflect its expanded responsibilities in radio and telephone. On November 15, 1947, I.T.U. reached an agreement with the United Nations to become a specialised agency within the United Nations System, which went into effect on January 1, 1949.
ITU is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, and its membership consists of 193 Member States and approximately 900 international and regional organisations, corporations, and universities. Its responsibilities include the allocation of global radio spectrum and satellite orbits, the development of technical standards, and the enhancement of ICT access for all underserved communities. In addition, ITU works on radio astronomy, radio amateurism, broadband, wireless technologies, and next-generation networks. As a result of I.T.U’s efforts, we can make mobile phone calls, access the internet, and send emails.
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WORLD INFORMATION SOCIETY DAY DATES