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Press Release

ITU’s Telecommunication Development Sector marks its 25th Anniversary

Anniversary highlights achievements and reflects on the future of the ITU Telecommunication Development Sector (ITU-D)

Buenos Aires, 11 October 2017

​​The celebrations of the ITU Telecommunication Development Sector's 25th Anniversary were held on 11 October in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in the framework of the World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC-17). The celebration marked two and a half decades of the sector's immense contribution to the rapid growth and expansion of telecommunication and information and communication technology (ICT) networks and services.

The event featured two ministerial roundtable discussions: one on the impact of ICTs to accelerate the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) –  ICT④SDGs; and the other on the future of the digital economy. Both were chaired by Andrés Ibarra, Minister of Modernization of Argentina.

When opening the roundtables, ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao said, "The 25th Anniversary of ITU-D is an opportunity not only to celebrate our achievements, but also to reflect on the future and find innovative ways to move forward. Sustainable development drives the work of ITU-D whose role will be critical to the successful achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development."

In his remarks, Minister Ibarra emphasized that "the narrowing of the digital gap is an urgent issue due to the benefits that technology can provide as a driving force for progress and development."

The first roundtable focused on the impact of ICT④SDGs. Guest speakers included Abdallah Said Sarouma, Vice-President from the Union of the Comoros, and Andrus Ansip, Vice President of the European Commission.

The book ICT-centric economic growth, innovation and job creation was launched during the ministerial roundtable.

"Over the past 25 years, ITU-D has worked to help create a better future for everyone everywhere," said ITU Telecommunication Bureau Director Brahima Sanou. "The achievements we are celebrating today would not have been possible without the unwavering support of ITU-D's members. I would like to thank all our members and partners for being part of this wonderful journey."

The second roundtable debated the future of the digital economy. Guest speakers included Boris Koprivnikar, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Administration of Slovenia; Majed Al-Mazyed, Deputy Governor, Communications and Information Technology Commission of Saudi Arabia; and software and artificial intelligence developer Tanmay Bakshi.

High-level interventions at the ministerial and head of regulatory authority levels enriched the discussions.

ITU-D was established in 1992 by the Additional Plenipotentiary Conference that was held in Geneva, Switzerland.

For more information, visit:


25th Anniversary of ITU-D (1992-2017)

ITU-D Achievements (1992-2017)​​

ITU-D 25th Anniversary Testimonials

ITU-D 25th Anniversary Timeline

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