The World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD) is celebrated annually to 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. Today also marks the anniversary of the signing of the first International Telegraph Convention and the creation of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).
The COVID-19 crisis has highlighted the critical role of information and communication technologies (ICTs) for continued functioning of societies and also brought to the fore the startling digital inequalities between and within countries. Hence, the theme for World Telecommunication and Information Society Day 2021 is “Accelerating Digital Transformation in Challenging Times” and it is an opportunity for governments and other stakeholders to continue to push for digital transformation by promoting national strategies on ICT development, smart policies to encourage investments, cooperation, and partnership.
On this day, we recognise the progress made by use of communication and positive exchanges through technology. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adopted by UNGA Resolution A/70/1 recognises that the spread of information and communications technology and global interconnectedness has great potential to accelerate human progress and to bridge the digital divide. Let us promote equality in achieving sustainable development with the use of advanced technology.
The World Assembly of Youth (WAY) at the centre of youth service organises year-round events that addresses and tackles youth issues. Now in a situation like COVID-19 pandemic, the use of information technology becomes even more important for young people to stay updated on the news, and getting to know about their loved ones in the absence of any physical connection. We shall continue to act as a platform for young people and youth councils to explore and initiate ways to bridge the digital divide.
Now, it is the right time to accelerate digital transformation and advance the goals and targets of the Connect 2030 Agenda in order to be beneficial for all people and leave no one behind.