World Telecommunication and Information Society Day is an international day celebrated annually on 17th May since 1969.
The day is observed to raise awareness about the use of the internet as it can bridge the gap between society and economies and the digital divide.
This day also highlights the importance of communication in our lives through various means of technology.
Note: The Coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the critical role of information and communication technologies more than ever.
The theme for World Telecommunication Day and Society Day 2021:
- The theme for this year is “Accelerating Digital Transformation in challenging times”, throughout the year with national, regional, and international initiatives to accelerate digital transformation.
- The theme focuses on the critical role of information and communication technologies (ICTs) for societies during the difficult pandemic times that people are facing currently.
- The day had previously been known as ‘World Telecommunication Day’ to commemorate the founding of the International Telecommunication Union on 17 May 1865.
- It was instituted by the Plenipotentiary Conference in Malaga-Torremolinos in 1973.
- World Information Society Day (WISD) was an international day proclaimed to be on 17 May by a United Nations General Assembly resolution, following the 2005 World Summit on the Information Society in Tunis.
- In November 2006, the UN General Assembly fixed a date to observe WISD on 17 May every year. During that same year, the ITU in a conference came up with an idea to combine both celebrations as World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD) as one.
- International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is the United Nations (UN) information and communication technology specialized agency.
- It was established in 1865 to promote international connectivity in communication networks.
- The agency allocates global radio spectrum and satellite orbits, formulate technical standards to ensure the seamless interconnection of networks and technologies, and strive to improve the global community’s access to low-level services ICT access.
- It is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.
- The ITU is also the oldest of all the UN Specialized Agencies.