older couple looking at laptop screen
Naxis and Gabriel left Venezuela in their seventies to start a new life in Chile. A digital literacy course helped them establish a food business.
Photo:© UNHCR/Eugenia Paz

Digital technologies for older persons and healthy ageing​

The ageing of the global population will be the defining demographic trend of the 21st century—yet our societies struggle to see the opportunities that this trend can unfold. Telecommunications and information communication technologies (ICTs) have a role to play in achieving healthier ageing, but also in helping people build smarter cities, combat age-based discrimination at the workplace, ensure financial inclusion of older persons, and support millions of caregivers across the world.

This year's theme raises awareness of the important role of telecommunications/ICTs in supporting people to stay healthy, connected and independent - physically, emotionally and financially. Supporting a life of healthy ageing is also critical for the sustainability of economic and health systems. The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) hopes to foster initiatives to accelerate digital technologies for older persons and healthy ageing that will contribute towards the UN Decade of Healthy Ageing.

A high-level panel to mark the day takes place on Tuesday, 17 May, 13:00 to 14:30 (CET). 


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).


World Information Society Day

World Telecommunication Day 1969 poster

World Telecommunication Day has been celebrated annually on 17 May since 1969, marking the founding of ITU and the signing of the first International Telegraph Convention in 1865. It was instituted by the Plenipotentiary Conference in Malaga-Torremolinos in 1973 as Resolution 46.

World Telecommunication Day

In November 2005, the World Summit on the Information Society called upon the UN General Assembly to declare 17 May as World Information Society Day to focus on the importance of ICT and the wide range of issues related to the Information Society raised by WSIS. The General Assembly adopted a resolution (A/RES/60/252) in March 2006 stipulating that World Information Society Day shall be celebrated every year on 17 May.

World Telecommunication and Information Society Day

In November 2006, the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference in Antalya, Turkey, decided to celebrate both events on 17 May as World Telecommunication and Information Society Day. The updated Resolution 68 invites Member States and Sector Members to celebrate the day annually by organizing appropriate national programmes with a view to:

  • stimulating reflection and exchanges of ideas on the theme adopted by the Council
  • debating the various aspects of the theme with all partners in society
  • formulating a report reflecting national discussions on the issues underlying the theme, to be fed back to ITU and the rest of its membership
poster for World Telecommunication Information Society Day, 17 May 2022 - ​​​​​​​Digital technologies for older persons and healthy ageing​ ​​

ITU invites you to actively participate in commemorating, contributing, and innovating throughout the year with national, regional, and international initiatives to accelerate digital technologies for older persons and healthy ageing.​ The visual materials of the campaign are free to use for non-commercial purposes.​


A professional microphone and a title: ITU podcasts - Technology for good

Tune in to hear how technological innovation can help us to stay healthy.


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