World Telecommunication and Information Society Day 2021 focuses on digital transformation in challenging times



World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD) is an official United Nations day of observance. This year’s theme, “Accelerating digital transformation in challenging times” , reflects the key role of information and communication technologies (ICTs), but also the startling digital inequalities between and within countries. View this year’s Call to Action.
WTISD-21 is an opportunity for ITU’s membership, along with businesses, organizations and people around the world, to keep pushing for digital transformation, promote national strategies for ICT development, and support smart policies to encourage investments, cooperation, and partnership. 
Held annually on 17 May, WTISD highlights the potential of the Internet and other ICTs to improve societies and economies worldwide. The day also marks the anniversary of the signing of the first International Telegraph Convention in 1865 and the creation of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the United Nations specialized agency for ICTs.
WHAT: World Telecommunication and Information Society Day 2021 (WTISD-21), celebrated by ITU and observed in numerous national, regional and international commemorations around the globe
ITU will celebrate WTISD-21 as part of this year’s World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Forum, with a virtual high-level panel addressing the need for enhanced collaboration and cooperation on ICTs and telecommunication across countries and sectors. ITU members and partners will showcase how they are accelerating digital transformation – both to meet today’s challenges and to prepare for future challenging times. 
WHERE: The virtual high-level panel will be held via Zoom as part of the final week of the WSIS 2021 Forum. Register here.
For a list of the national, regional, and international commemorations around the globe, click here.
WHEN: ITU’s high-level panel will take place on Monday, 17 May, from 13:00 to 14:30 (CEST) 
WHY: WTISD-21 promotes the acceleration of digital transformation, particularly in these unprecedented times. Governments, businesses, UN bodies, academia, civil society and other stakeholders need to enhance their cooperation and reinforce the development of digital strategies and other technology-driven initiatives. Countries must continue to leverage telecommunication and ICTs through digital policies and strategies to support adaptation and ensure a timely, effective response to current and future challenges.  
Moderator:  Malcolm Johnson, Deputy Secretary-General, ITU


  • H. E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President of the Republic of Ghana
  • H. E. Syed Amin Ul Haque, Minister of Information Technology and Telecommunication, Islamic Republic of Pakistan (TBC)
  • H. E. Marek Zagórski, Minister of Digital Affairs, Republic of Poland (TBC)
  • Maimunah Mohd Sharif, Executive Director, United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat)
  • Houlin Zhao, Secretary-General, ITU



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