ITU (International Telecommunications Union) will celebrate World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD) on Wednesday 17 May 2023 with the theme, ‘Empowering the least developed countries through information and communication technologies’.

ITU Secretary-General, Doreen Bogdan-Martin, said the event will commemorate the anniversary of the founding of ITU on 17 May 1865 while drawing attention to the fact that there are still 46 least developed countries (LDC) representing around 1.1 billion people where more than 75 per cent of the population still live in poverty. In addition, about two-thirds of these countries’ population remains offline, facing numerous barriers to meaningful connectivity, including lack of infrastructure, affordability and skills.

“We are in a race against time to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030,” she said. “The year 2023 brings together the 5th United Nations Conference on the LDCs to accelerate sustainable development in the places where investments and international assistance are most needed. At the same time, the world’s least developed countries are the planet’s greatest untapped resource. Investment in these young vibrant countries can help drive sustainable growth for generations. 

“That is why WTISD 2023 is a great opportunity for ITU to present the work the Union does, together with its membership and partners, to support LDCs, as well as to highlight the need to increase efforts to leave no one behind and accelerate the rhythm to achieve the ITU goals of universal connectivity and sustainable digital transformation by 2030.”

Please consider joining and/or adding your pledges to the Partner2Connect Digital Coalition to support the LDCs through international cooperation and partnerships. Throughout the year, ITU will be reflecting existing and new pledged initiatives and highlighting their impact. For more information and details about ITU’s birthday celebrations, follow the WTISD dedicated website and ITU social media.