The purpose of 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.
marks the anniversary of the signing of the first International Telegraph Convention and the creation of the International Telecommunication Union.
World Telecommunication Day has been celebrated annually on 17 May , 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.
In , 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 in March 2006 stipulating that World Information Society Day shall be celebrated every year on 17 May.
In, the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference in Antalya, Turkey, decided to celebrate both events on 17 May as World Telecommunication and Information Society Day. The updated invites Member States and Sector Members to celebrate the day annually by organizing appropriate national programmes with a view to:
Ø stimulating reflection and exchanges of ideas on the theme adopted by the Council
Ø debating the various aspects of the theme with all partners in society
Ø formulating a report reflecting national discussions on the issues underlying the theme, to be fed back to ITU and the rest of its membership
The day is celebrated with a different theme every year. The theme for WTD 2006 it was “Promoting Global Cyber-security”, for WTD 2007 it was “Connecting the Youth, the Opportunities of ICT”, for WTD 2008 it was “Connecting persons with disabilities”. In 2016, World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD-2016) will focus on the theme: “ICT entrepreneurship for social impact”, in accordance with Resolution 68 and as endorsed by ITU Council 2015.