World Telecommunication Day
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Each year on the 17th of May the
International Telecommunication Union celebrates
World Telecommunication Day
to commemorate its founding in Paris in 1865.

The theme of this year’s observance is
"Telecommunications and Humanitarian Assistance."

Message from
ITU Secretary General Pekka Tarjanne

Message from
UN Under-Secretary-General Yasushi Akashi


Joint message by the ITU Secretary-General, the Under-Secretary General of the United Nations for the Department of Humanitarian Affairs and the President of the State Council of the Republic and Canton of Geneva
on World Telecommunication Day 1997

This site provides access to information, documents and online resources which support the key messages of "WTD-97":

  • Telecommunications are essential to effective humanitarian aid efforts.
  • Modern telecommunication technologies such as the Internet enable emergency communication across geographic and social boundaries.
  • Automated tools for information access and presentation can help reduce "information overload."
  • The regulatory environment for trans-border use of telecommunications equipment during international relief operations, and the use of telecommunications for disaster mitigation, prevention and preparedness, needs to be improved.

In keeping with the interactive nature of the Internet, you are invited to contribute your own event notices, documents and online references to this shared global resource. Please see the appropriate pages for instructions.

In addition, an electronic mail discussion list has been established. To subscribe, send an e-mail message to with the text "subscribe WTD-97" (the subject line is ignored and may be left blank.) Subscribers may send messages to "" for distribution to the entire list.

  Welcome | Calendar | Documents | Links | Contacts