World Telecommunication and Information Society Day Celebrated

17 May 2010: In a message to mark World Telecommunication and Information Society Day, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged fully using the potential of telecommunication and information technologies to improve life-saving services, promote sustainable development and foster international peace.

In his message, Ban notes that the theme of this year's Day, “Better Cities, Better Life with ICTs,” is a reminder that communication technologies must be employed and disposed of in a manner that raises living standards while protecting the environment. Lauding the efforts of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and its partners to promote broadband access in rural and remote areas around the world, he highlighted that greater access can mean faster progress toward the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). He cited examples of uses of these technologies, including the use of telemedicine to improve health care, Earth monitoring satellites to address climate change, and green technologies to promote cleaner cities.

The purpose of the World Telecommunication and Information Society Day is to raise awareness of the possibile uses of the Internet and other information and communication technologies (ICTs), as well as of ways to bridge the digital divide. It was celebrated on 17 May 2010, in Shanghai, China. [UN Press Release]