"Technological advances such as 5G and the Internet of Things have the potential to deliver considerable social and economic benefits and to drive progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals." — UN Secretary-General, António Guterres

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.

17 May marks the anniversary of the signing of the first International Telegraph Convention and the creation of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). This year, we celebrate the 50th anniversary of World Telecommunication and Information Society Day, which has been celebrated annually since 1969.

2019 Theme: Bridging the standardization gap

Setting standards is a fundamental pillar of ITU's mission as the specialized agency of the United Nations for information and communication technologies (ICTs). ITU standards help accelerate ICTs for all Sustainable Development Goals. The 2019 theme will allow ITU Membership and other key stakeholders to focus on the opportunities for:

  • participation of developing countries in ITU's standards-making process;
  • empowering local experts in the standardization process at the national, regional and international levels; and
  • promoting the implementation of international standards in developing countries.
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