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Media Advisory

ITU reschedules two key conferences in response to COVID-19 to protect staff, speakers and delegates

World Information Society (WSIS) Forum and AI for Good Global Summit to be held in September 2020

Geneva, 10 March 2020

​​Given the global COVID-19 outbreak, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and its partners have decided to postpone the dates for the upcoming World Information Society (WS​IS) Forum (originally in April and now from 31 August to 4 September 2020), as well as the AI for Good Global Summit (originally in May and now from 21 to 25 September 2020). 

Both events will take place at the same venue – the ITU Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

Open only to representatives of Member States, Sector Members and to chairmen and vice-chairmen of Study Groups, the Telecommunication Development Advisory Group (TDAG) originally scheduled to be held from 24 to 27 March is postponed until 2 to 5 June 2020. Likewise, the 17th World Telecommunication/ICT Indicators Symposium, originally planned for 15 to 17 April 2020, will also be postponed and new dates will be communicated shortly.

The dates and venue for the Global Symposium for Regulators (1 to 3 September 2020) remain unchanged.

On Friday, 28 February 2020, the Government of the Swiss Confederation announced and put into effect a ban on large-scale events which involve more than 1000 people. The ban is slated to last until 15 March at the earliest and the upcoming weeks are uncertain at best. In response, ITU and its partners are proactively shifting the dates of events as per above.

The World Information Society (WSIS) Forum is the world's largest annual gathering of the 'ICT for development' community and aims to foster digital transformation and global partnerships to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Action-oriented, global & inclusive, the AI for Good Global Summit is the leading United Nations platform on AI (artificial intelligence) and its goal is to identify practical applications of AI and scale those solutions for global impact.

Along with its co-organizers and partners, ITU will continue preparations and remain fully committed to the success of both events. The registration for AI for Good Global Summit remains open and all registrations received remain valid for the new date. All open calls are extended to 30 June. As regards WSIS, registration for participants who have already registered remains valid - they do not need to register again. Registration will re-open on 22 June. Media registration for the WSIS Forum remains open and media registration for the AI for Good Global Summit will open in July 2020.

ITU thanks all participants, speakers and media for their cooperation.

​ITU will continue to monitor the situation very closely, in partnership with the Swiss authorities, the United Nations system and the World Health Organization. We express our solidarity with the people who have been affected around the world and the health professionals working to treat them and contain the spread of the virus.