17 May 2001 - World Telecommunication Day
The Internet: challenges, opportunities and prospects




Geneva, 10 April 2001


M. Daw Win


+41 22 730 6302


+41 22 730 5939/
+41 22 733 7256




World Telecommunication Day 2001

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am writing to draw your attention to World Telecommunication Day, celebrated by the Union every year on 17 May, to commemorate the day of its founding in Paris, back in 1865.

To celebrate this year’s World Telecommunication Day on 17 May 2001, ITU members have selected the theme "The Internet: challenges, opportunities and prospects".

The theme for this year’s day was selected in the light of the extraordinary uptake of the Internet worldwide and its wide-ranging effects on society. The Internet offers great potential to support development activities, but, at the same time, it poses challenges and threats to existing institutions and raises regulatory challenges because of its very nature and ever-growing role. World Telecommunication Day 2001 could be an excellent opportunity to discuss the prospects, challenges and opportunities of the Internet in the national context.

ITU Members are invited to celebrate this year’s World Telecommunication Day by organizing national programmes that would address:

To foster discussion, Member States and Sector Members may join forces in cooperating towards the preparation and implementation of a national programme that may consist of the launch of Internet-related programmes, adoption of new policy measures to promote Internet diffusion in underserved areas, organization of symposia involving all partners in society or round tables (television/radio, Web chat rooms, Internet cafés, schools), inaugurations of Internet Cafés, publication of press articles and advertising in national and local media.

As a Sector Member, you are therefore invited to contact the national telecommunication administration of your country with a view to join forces in promoting a general debate on the theme. In the meantime, I have pleasure in enclosing a message on this year’s theme. You will find information on the Day on our website at http://www.itu.int/wtd/, including an executive summary of ITU’s report "Challenges to the Network: Internet for Development", published on the occasion of ITU Telecom 99 which provides excellent background information to help you tackle the issues.

Yours faithfully,


Annex:   Message of the Secretary-General


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