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World Telecommunication Day / World Telecommunication and Information Society Day

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World Telecommunication Day (WTD) has been celebrated annually on 17 May since 1969. The date marks the anniversary of the founding of ITU on 17 May 1865, when the first International Telegraph Convention was signed in Paris. In 1973, the event was formally instituted at the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference in Malaga-Torremolinos, Spain. Every year a topical theme is chosen and events celebrating that theme take place around the world.
 
With the growth in importance of information technology alongside telecommunications – especially the Internet – it was recognised that the topic also needed to be brought to public attention. In 2005, the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) called upon the United Nations General Assembly to declare 17 May as World Information Society Day (WISD). The aim was to focus on the importance of these technologies and the wide range of related social and economic issues that had been raised by the summit. The UN General Assembly resolved in March 2006 that World Information Society Day (WISD) would indeed take place every year on 17 May. Later in 2006, the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference in Antalya, Turkey, decided to combine both celebrations as World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD).
 
The purpose of World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD) is to help raise awareness of the possibilities that the use of the Internet and other information and communication technologies (ICT) can bring to societies and economies, as well as of ways to bridge the digital divide. World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD), like its predecessors, focuses on a particular theme for each event.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
 
To learn more about a specific event, click on a link in the list below. Each event has its own page where you will find a variety of information including messages from ITU's Secretary-General, event posters, and additional resources such as articles.

YearAscending
Event Name
Theme

1969

World Telecommunication Day (WTD 1969)

The ITU: Get to know the ITU

1970

World Telecommunication Day (WTD 1970)

Telecommunications and education

1971

World Telecommunication Day (WTD 1971)

Space and telecommunications

1972

World Telecommunication Day (WTD 1972)

The world telecommunication network

1973

World Telecommunication Day (WTD 1973)

International cooperation in the field of telecommunications

1974

World Telecommunication Day (WTD 1974)

Telecommunications and transport

1975

World Telecommunication Day (WTD 1975)

Telecommunications and meteorology (ITU / WMO)

1976

World Telecommunication Day (WTD 1976)

Telecommunication and the mass media (ITU / UNESCO)

1977

World Telecommunication Day (WTD 1977)

Telecommunication and development (ITU / UNDP)

1978

World Telecommunication Day (WTD 1978)

Radiocommunications

1979

World Telecommunication Day (WTD 1979)

Telecommunications for all

1980

World Telecommunication Day (WTD 1980)

Rural telecommunications

1981

World Telecommunication Day (WTD 1981)

Telecommunications and health (ITU / WHO)

1982

World Telecommunication Day (WTD 1982)

Telecommunications and international cooperation

1983

World Telecommunication Day (WTD 1983) / World Communications Year (WCY 1983)

One world, one network

1984

World Telecommunication Day (WTD 1984)

Telecommunications: expanding horizons

1985

World Telecommunication Day (WTD 1985)

Telecommunications for development

1986

World Telecommunication Day (WTD 1986)

Partners in progress: governments, operating entities, manufacturers and users

1987

World Telecommunication Day (WTD 1987)

Telecommunications in the service of nations

1988

World Telecommunication Day (WTD 1988)

The transfer of technological know-how in the age of electronics

1989

World Telecommunication Day (WTD 1989)

International cooperation

1990

World Telecommunication Day (WTD 1990)

Telecommunications and industrial development

1991

World Telecommunication Day (WTD 1991)

Telecommunications and safety of human life

1992

World Telecommunication Day (WTD 1992)

Telecommunications and space: new horizons

1993

World Telecommunication Day (WTD 1993)

Telecommunications and human development

1994

World Telecommunication Day (WTD 1994)

Telecommunication and culture (ITU / UNESCO)

1995

World Telecommunication Day (WTD 1995)

Telecommunications and the environment

1996

World Telecommunication Day (WTD 1996)

Telecommunication and sport

1997

World Telecommunication Day (WTD 1997)

Telecommunications and humanitarian assistance

1998

World Telecommunication Day (WTD 1998)

Trade in telecommunications

1999

World Telecommunication Day (WTD 1999)

Electronic commerce

2000

World Telecommunication Day (WTD 2000)

Mobile communications

2001

World Telecommunication Day (WTD 2001)

The Internet: challenges, opportunities and prospects

2002

World Telecommunication Day (WTD 2002)

ICT for all: empowering people to cross the Digital Divide

2003

World Telecommunication Day (WTD 2003)

Helping all of the world’s people to communicate

2004

World Telecommunication Day (WTD 2004)

ICTs: leading the way to sustainable development

2005

World Telecommunication Day (WTD 2005)

Creating an equitable Information Society: Time for Action

2006

World Information Society Day (WISD 2006)

First World Information Society Day

2006

World Telecommunication Day (WTD 2006)

Promoting global cybersecurity

2007

World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD 2007)

Connecting the young: the opportunities of ICT

2008

World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD 2008)

Connecting persons with disabilities: ICT opportunities for all

2009

World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD 2009)

Protecting children in cyberspace

2010

World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD 2010)

Better city, better life with ICTs

2011

World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD 2011)

Better Life in Rural Communities with ICTs

2012

World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD 2012)

Women and Girls in ICT

2013

World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD 2013)

ICTs and improving road safety

2014

World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD 2014)

Broadband for Sustainable Development

2015

World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD 2015)

Telecommunications and ICTs: Drivers of innovation

2016

World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD 2016)

ICT entrepreneurship for social impact

2017

World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD 2017)

Big Data for Big Impact

2018

World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD 2018)

Enabling the positive use of Artificial Intelligence for All

2019

World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD 2019)

Bridging the standardization gap
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