World Telecommunication Day (WTD) is celebrated every year on May 17 to highlight the role of Information and Communication Technology in today’s world. The day is also celebrated to mark the anniversary of the founding of International Telecommunication Union (ITU) on May 17, 1865, the occasion on which the first International Telegraph Convention was signed in Paris, France. On this day, a topical theme is chosen and events celebrating that theme take place around the world.
Theme of World Telecommunication Day 2021:
The theme for this year is ‘Accelerating digital transformation in challenging times’ focusing on the critical role of information and communication technologies (ICTs) for continued functioning of societies during COVID-19 pandemic and bringing to the fore the startling digital inequalities between and within countries.
World Telecommunication Day history and significance:
With the event being first started in 1969, the day was first celebrated in 2005 when the World Summit on the Information Society called upon the UN General Assembly for declaring May 17 as World Information Society Day (WISD). In March 2006, the UN General Assembly resolved that WISD would indeed take place every year on 17 May. In 2006, the ITU in a Plenipotentiary Conference in Turkey’s Antalya decided to combine both celebrations as World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD).
The day is celebrated with an aim to raise awareness of the possibilities that the use of the internet can have to bridge the gap in society and economies and digital divide. The celebration of the day makes a way for increasing awareness of the positive communication technology among people in the world.
The celebration of the day also aims for making the information and communication easily accessible to people living in remote parts and rural areas of the world.
The day also highlights the importance of communication in our lives through various technologies. In crisis, technologies developed by scientists help the authorities in spreading messages and official communication.