Secretary-General António Guterres speaks at the informal virtual meeting "Financing Sustainable Development in the Context of COVID-19". UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe


Secretary-General's message

Information technology can be a beacon of hope, allowing billions of people around the world to connect.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, these connections – with loved ones, with schools and colleges, with workplaces, with healthcare professionals and essential supplies– are more important than ever.

The International Telecommunication Union continues to work with the information and communication technology community and UN agencies to help manage and end this crisis, and recover better.

New technologies, from 5G and big data to cloud computing and artificial intelligence, are powerful tools to tackle the world’s most pressing challenges, including the pandemic.

Leaving no one behind means leaving no one offline.

World Telecommunication and Information Society Day reminds us that international cooperation on digital technology is essential to help defeat COVID-19 and achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Thank you.

António Guterres

António Guterres

International Communication Union (ITU)
Secretary-General's message

Every year on May 17, people around the world join the ITU family to celebrate World Telecommunication and Information Society Day.

This year, I call on all of you to join me in advancing ITU's Connect 2030 Agenda, a shared global vision to bridge the digital divide and use the power of information and communication technology in support of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

I invite you to show the world what new technologies like 5G and Intelligent Transport, the Internet of Things, AI and blockchain can do to improve people's lives and facilitate social and economic development.

These technologies and new innovations hold great potential for human progress; they are a powerful tool to achieve each and every one of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Almost half the world's population is still not using the Internet, and overall growth in ICT connectivity is slowing. Time is pressing.

We need to coordinate and redouble our efforts to connect everyone to the global digital economy, and that for those connected, more must be done to ensure that connected life is safe and trustworthy.

On World Telecommunication and Information Society Day and for this new decade, let's harness information and communication technology to accelerate social, economic and environmentally sustainable growth and inclusive development for everyone, everywhere.

Houlin Zhao

António Guterres