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The purpose of World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD) is to help 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. 17 May marks the anniversary of the signing of the first International Telegraph Convention and the creation of the International Telecommunication Union.

The World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD) is celebrated universally on the 17th of May every year. It celebrates the constant evolution of one of the most important factors of our lives: communication. The main goal of World Telecommunications Day (WTD) is to highlight the importance of communication and how information travels across the world. It also aims to increase awareness of how crucial communication is in our lives, and stimulate the development of technologies in the field.

The annual observance of World Telecommunication Day, which marks the founding of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) on May 17, 1865, drew attention to the work of ITU and the challenges of global communication. In March 2006, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed May 17 as World Information Society Day to recognize the efforts made to advance communication and ITU’s role in helping people connect around the world. The UN’s first World Information Society Day took place on Wednesday, 17 May 2006.

The theme for World Telecommunication and Information Society Day 2018 (WTISD-18), "Enabling the positive use of Artificial Intelligence for All," will focus on the potential of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to accelerate the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It will also allow ITU Membership and other key stakeholders to focus on the opportunities for how AI can help accelerate the achievement of the SDGs by 2030.

In recent years there has been significant progress in AI technology, made possible by tremendous advances in contributing fields, such as Big Data, machine learning, computing power, storage capacity and cloud computing, among others. AI-based technologies are already emerging as a key component of proactive tools and applications being used to help people lead better lives by improving healthcare, education, finance, agriculture, transportation, and a wide range of other services.

The World Assembly of Youth at the centre of youth service organises year-round events to tackle youth issues. One of our prominent is the annual event known as Melaka International Youth Dialogue (MIYD). In 2003 we organised MIYD with a theme Youth and Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) for Development. The event brought together youth and youth leaders from different countries to convene and tackle the issue. A declaration was drafted and sent to National Youth Councils and governments as suggestions to adopt their policies. Here is the link for the 2013 declaration:

Lack of access to information and communication technologies has remained a major challenge to youth. Let us take youth issues into considerations in the ICT development agenda and ICT policies of each country.