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.
World Information Society Day was proclaimed to be on 17 May by a United Nations General Assembly resolution, following the 2005 World Summit on the Information Society in Tunis.
The day had previously been known as World Telecommunication Day to commemorate the founding of the International Telecommunication Union in 17 May 1865. It was instituted by the Plenipotentiary Conference in Malaga-Torremolinos in 1973.
The main objective of the day is to raise global awareness of societal changes brought about by the Internet and new technologies. It also aims to help reduce the Digital divide.World Information Society 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. The first World Information Society Day took place on Wednesday, 17 May 2006.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 programmers 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