May 17 – World Telecommunication and Information Society Day

The World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD) is celebrated every year on May 17. This international day was created in 2006 by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). The goal of this celebration is to promote the significance of Information Society and also to raise awareness of the role of information and communication technologies (ICT) in bridging the digital divide and bringing change to societies and economies around the world.


The term ‘Information society’ is used to denote a socio-economic setup in which the productive usage of information and it’s intensive production are the key factors. In other words, information society is a society in which both consumers and workers take advantage of information. So, the term Information Society is often used to emphasize the role played by information in social and economic life of everyone. If we look at the status and role of information in our society, we can conclude that our society is an information society and this is the information age.

The World Telecommunication and Information Society Day is observed on May 17 every year. Why 17th of May? The first International Telegraph Convention was held on May 17, 1865 at Paris, French, in which the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) (originally International Telegraph Union) was formed. Since 1969, May 17 has been celebrated annually as World Telecommunication Day. In November 2005, the World Summit on the Information Society called upon the General Assembly of the United Nations General Assembly to declare 17 May as World Information Society Day. In March, 2006, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution to declare May 17 as the World Information Society Day.

In November 2006, the International Telecommunication Union’s Plenipotentiary Conference in Antalya, Turkey, decided to combine the celebration of the World Telecommunication Day with the World Information Society Day. As a result the World Telecommunication and Information Society Day was born, which is being celebrated every year on the 17th of May. The member states celebrates the international day by organizing programmes to reflect and exchange of ideas on the year’s theme; by debating on the various aspects of the theme and by formulating a report on the issues underlying the theme.

WTISD 2016


A theme is selected for each year’s observance of World Telecommunication and Information Society Day. The theme for 2016 is: ‘ICT entrepreneurship for social impact.’ Following are past themes of WTISD:

  • 2016: ICT entrepreneurship for social impact.
  • 2015: Telecommunications and ICTs: Drivers of innovation.
  • 2014: Broadband for Sustainable Development.
  • 2013: ICTs and improving road safety.
  • 2012: Women and Girls in ICT.
  • 2011: Better life in rural communities with ICTs.
  • 2010: Better city, better life with ICTs.
  • 2009: Protecting Children in Cyberspace.
  • 2008: Connecting Persons with Disabilities: ICT opportunities for all.
  • 2007: Connecting the Young: the opportunities of ICT.


  • International Telecommunication Union
  • United Nations

Note: The information contained in this article is intended to be a helpful resource for your reference and it should not be relied upon for complicity.

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