Children performing at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg.
Children performing at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg.
Photo:UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

Information and Communications Technologies — New Solutions to Development Challenges

The information and communications technologies have the potential to provide new solutions to development challenges, particularly in the context of globalization, and can foster economic growth, competitiveness, access to information and knowledge, poverty eradication, and social inclusion that will help to expedite the integration of all countries, especially developing countries, in particular the least developed countries, into the global economy.

Furthermore, it is a well-established fact that information and communications technologies present new opportunities and challenges and that there is a pressing need to address the major impediments that developing countries face in accessing the new technologies, such as insufficient resources, infrastructure, education, capacity, investment and connectivity, and issues related to technology ownership, standards and flows, and in this regard calls upon all stakeholders to provide adequate resources, enhanced capacity-building and technology transfer, on mutually agreed terms, to developing countries.

The Digital Divide

However, there are concerns regarding the digital divide in access to information and communications technology tools and broadband connectivity between countries at different levels of development, which affects many economically and socially relevant applications in areas such as government, business, health and education, and further expresses concern with regard to the special challenges faced in the area of broadband connectivity by developing countries, including the least developed countries, small island developing States and landlocked developing countries. (A/RES/65/141)

World Development Information Day

Hence, the General Assembly in 1972 established World Development Information Day to draw the attention of the world to development problems and the need to strengthen international cooperation to solve them (resolution 3038 (XXVII)). The Assembly decided that the date for the Day should coincide with United Nations Day, 24 October, which was also the date of the adoption, in 1970, of the International Development Strategy for the Second United Nations Development Decade.

The Assembly deemed that improving the dissemination of information and the mobilization of public opinion, particularly among young people, would lead to greater awareness of the problems of development, thus, promoting efforts in the sphere of international cooperation for development.



Documents: General Assembly resolutions designating UN Development Decades

  • Fourth UN Development Decade (1991-2000) (A/RES/45/199, 21 December 1990)
  • Third UN Development Decade (1981-1990) (A/RES/35/56, 5 December 1980)
  • Second UN Development Decade (1971-1980) (A/RES/2626 (XXV), 24 October 1970)
  • First UN Development Decade (1960-1970) (A/RES/1710 (XVI), 19 December 1961)


SDGs card

The Sustainable Development Goals are the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. They address the global challenges we face, including poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, peace and justice. Learn more and take action.

illustration of people with clock, calendar, to-do list and decorations

International days and weeks are occasions to educate the public on issues of concern, to mobilize political will and resources to address global problems, and to celebrate and reinforce achievements of humanity. The existence of international days predates the establishment of the United Nations, but the UN has embraced them as a powerful advocacy tool. We also mark other UN observances.