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Press Release

ITU World Telecommunication Development Conference opens in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Ministers and top industry players to focus on the contribution of ICTs to the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals




Buenos Aires, 06 October 2017

​​The ITU World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC) will be held in Buenos Aires, Argentina from 9 to 20 October 2017.

Under the theme ICT for Sustainable Development Goals ICTSDGs, WTDC-17 will represent a unique opportunity for the international community to gather together and discuss the future of the telecommunication and information and communication technology (ICT) sector and its contribution to the achievement of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

Expected outcomes of WTDC-17 include the Buenos Aires Declaration and the Buenos Aires Action Plan, which will set the priorities and programme of the ITU Telecommunication Development Sector (ITU-D) over the next four years. The provisional final report of WTDC-17 will be issued on 20 October.

Mr. Andrés Ibarra, Minister of Modernization of Argentina, said of the issues to be discussed at WTDC-17, "Today, the potential of information and communication technologies to transform everyday reality is evident. The challenge before us is to ensure that these benefits reach everyone."

"The theme of WTDC-17 is very timely because now more than ever, we need ICTs to drive development and accelerate the achievement of the SDGs' vision to leave no one behind," said Houlin Zhao, ITU Secretary-General. "At WTDC-17, we will review our results and accomplishments and define our way forward with new and innovative ways of meeting our objectives and accelerating social and economic development."

"Access to ICTs can make a difference and empower people everywhere to be part of the digital economy. I am confident that WTDC-17 will reinforce the active and driving role of ITU-D in promoting innovation for sustainable development," said Mr Brahima Sanou, Director of the ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT).

A video message from António Guterres, United Nations Secretary-General, will also be relayed to the conference participants during the opening ceremony.

A High-Level Segment will be held 9-10 October, during which high-ranking officials from Member States, including ministers and deputy ministers will share their views on emerging trends and on matters of strategic importance to the development of the ICT sector.

WTDC-17 will also host a series of pre and side events to highlight the role that ICTs play in achieving socio-economic development. All the pre-events and side events will be webcast.

Pre-events: October 8

Together for an #Accessible World: This pre-event will bring together ITU Members and other stakeholders from all regions to share their views, challenges and success stories on the promotion of a global inclusive society.

Ministerial Roundtable on ICTSDGs in LDCs, LLDCs and SIDS: The Roundtable will highlight how ICTs are accelerating the attainment of SDGs, and discuss national initiatives in least developed countries, landlocked developing countries, and small island developing states on how to address and overcome barriers to ICT affordability, connectivity, access and use. 

Private Sector Roundtable: At this pre-event, participants will discuss private sector collaboration and partnership in the attainment of the SDGs.

Side events:

Digital Skills for Youth Employment in the Digital Economy (11 October): This side event will explore the latest trends in digital skills for youth employment, the role of ITU in promoting digital skills for youth employment and provide an update on the joint ILO – ITU Digital Skills for Decent Jobs Campaign.

AcademiaSDGs: from research to innovative solutions to accelerate sustainable development (12 October): This side event will provide an opportunity for ITU Academia members to discuss possible ways to strengthen their involvement in the implementation of ICT④SDGs related projects and initiatives.

Digital Economy: accelerating digital transformation through innovation (13 October): This event will provide a platform for networking and sharing knowledge and best practices to help countries accelerate digital transformation.

Emergency Telecommunications (13 October): Held to coincide with the International Day for Disaster Reduction, this event will highlight the role of ICTs in disaster management, early warning and monitoring systems, and new technological tools used to restore communication networks when disasters strike.

Cybersecurity (16 October): This event will showcase some of ITU's cybersecurity related flagship initiatives, including the annual Global Cybersecurity Index, and gather views and inputs from participants on how to improve ITU's work in cybersecurity.

E-Health: ICT for Universal Health Coverage (17 October): Participants at this event will discuss the role of the ICT sector in contributing to the achievement of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and provide examples of best practices, experiences and lessons learned where ICTs have made concrete progress towards UHC.

During WTDC-17, the ITU Telecommunication Development Sector (ITU-D) will celebrate its 25th anniversary. On Wednesday 11 October, ITU-D will host two Ministerial Roundtables on ICT④SDGs and the digital economy with inspiring and visionary speakers.

Media Information: Media must be registered and accredited in order to gain entry to WTDC-17. Existing UN Press Accreditation is valid. Pre-registration is highly recommended. For accreditation procedures please visit: http://bit.ly/WTDC17-mediareg. See also the Digital Media Kit

Click on the links below for more information WTDC-17