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World Telecommunication Day 2005

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"Creating an equitable Information Society: Time for Action"

World Telecommunication Day 2005 marks two important anniversaries for ITU. It will be 140 years since we began helping the world communicate. From the birth of the telegraph, through radio and television broadcasting to satellite communications and the Internet, the work of ITU has helped harness the power of science and technology to fulfill a basic human need for communication. However, 20 years ago, we realized that not all people were sharing in the social and economic benefits that telecommunications creates. In 1985 ITU released the landmark Maitland Report, known as the ‘Missing Link’, which was the first to clearly identify the digital divide. Since its publication, ITU has been working in earnest to bring the benefits of ICT to all of humanity.

In 2003, ITU held the first ever World Summit on the Information Society in Geneva. The first phase of the Summit resulted in 175 countries endorsing a Declaration of Principles and Plan of Action that embrace the idea of universal and affordable access to ICTs. The second phase of the Summit, to be held this November in Tunis, will measure the progress we have made in fulfilling the specific objectives of the Geneva phase and will call on all stakeholders to transform the political will expressed at the first phase into long-term commitments. To help focus the world’s attention on the importance of this mission, ITU members have selected the theme Creating an Equitable Information Society: Time for Action.

Looking ahead to Tunis, the true test of an engaged, empowered and equitable Information Society will be the extent to which today's powerful knowledge-based communications tools are able to connect different peoples across geographic, knowledge and information divides, especially in the most impoverished countries. The time for action is now.




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Updated : 2005-03-14