World Telecommunication and Information Society Day is marked on 17 May to highlight the importance of communication technologies in our lives. The day also marks the founding of the . The day also tries to create more awareness about the digital divide and how to lessen it.
The day celebrates the signing of the first International Telegraph Convention by the ITU members in 1865. The United Nations decided to mark the day after it was instituted by the Plenipotentiary Conference in Malaga-Torremolinos, Spain, in 1973.
The UN decided to mark World Information Society Day on 17 May after the World Summit on the Information Society called upon the UNGA in 2005 and requested it to draw attention towards the role of information and communication technologies (ICT) in the modern world .
In 2006, during the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference in Turkey’s Antalya, it was decided to combine both celebrations as World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD). Since then the occasion has been marked on 17 May.
The theme for this year’s World Telecommunication Day is “Digital technologies for older persons and healthy ageing”. The theme focuses on how ICT can help in achieving various goals like building smart cities, ensuring financial inclusion of older persons, combating age-based discrimination at the workplace and so on.
WTISD aims to create more awareness about the increasing role of ICT in our lives. The day also highlights the possibilities of the internet in bringing people together and working towards development.
World Telecommunication and Information Society Day focuses on how internet and other technologies can bring about positive changes in societies and economies and help people lead a better life.
The day also draws attention to the role of ICT in creating a more interconnected world and how we can address the digital divide.