Do your bit: Focus on days highlighting international issues International Days and Observances
World Telecommunications Day
Better life in rural communities with ICTs

World Telecommunications Day theme for 2011
17 May
The focus of much of telecommunications activities world wide is to harmonize national policies, bridge technological differences, foster interconnectivity and interoperability of systems on a global scale. The result is to bring the world closer - through a phone call, via an email, by watching TV or surfing the web.

One of the key objectives of the World Telecommunications Day is to increase global awareness of the advantages that information and communications technologies have to offer and increase access to ICTs for a greater percentage of the population, especially the lower income groups in developing countries.

This year, World Telecommunication and Information Society Day highlights the theme “Better life in rural communities with ICTs”, which was adopted by ITU Council in 2009 and follows up on the theme for 2010: “Better city, better life with ICTs”.

ICTs are increasingly in demand to meet the Millennium Development Goals. In the rural context, ICTs provide enhanced opportunities to generate income and combat poverty, hunger, ill health and illiteracy.

Half the world’s population resides in rural districts and far flung communities. This half — three billion people — represent the poorer, less educated, and more deprived cousins of our urban citizens. Indeed, latest figures indicate that as many as 70 per cent of the developing world’s 1.4 billion extremely poor people live in rural areas1. They are also among the least connected to the benefits of ICTs. We cannot allow this situation to continue.

Since 2006, the World Telecommunication Day carries added significance as 17 May has also been identified by the Tunis phase of the World Summit on the Information Society as "World Information Society Day".

Additional Resources:

GDRC has been working on themes related to this international day/observance, in its programme on Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs).

GDRC reaffirms its committment to uphold the objectives of the World Telecommunications Day, and work towards better understanding of, and action on, " ... bringing the world a little closer".

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