Following is UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ message for World Telecommunication and Information Society Day, observed on 17 May:
Today we celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the World Telecommunication and Information Society Day, highlighting the importance of international technology standards in accelerating innovation worldwide.
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. The standards-making process of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is more important than ever, and I commend the ITU’s commitment to inclusivity, consensus and bridge-building among Governments, companies and universities from all regions of the world.
Yet, alongside these invaluable processes, we must also recognize our shared responsibility to ensure that these technologies are not used to incite violence, to fuel hatred, or to mislead the public. We must be alert to these and other perils while joining efforts to harness technological advances for the common good.
On World Telecommunication and Information Society Day, let us commit to working together to ensure that the digital economy delivers for all.