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Bridging the Standardization Gap: Theme of World Telecommunication and Information Society Day
World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD), May 17, is observed each year '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.' This year the observance has the the theme of "Bridging the standardization Gap."

On this date, the first International Telegraph Convention and the creation of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). This year, we celebrate the 50th anniversary of World Telecommunication and Information Society Day, which has been celebrated annually since 1969.

According to the ITU, setting standards is a fundamental pillar of ITU's mission as the specialized agency of the United Nations for information and communication technologies (ICTs). It is held that ITU standards help accelerate ICTs for all Sustainable Development Goals. The 2019 theme will allow ITU Membership and other key stakeholders to focus on the opportunities for participation of developing countries in ITU's standards-making process; empowering local experts in the standardization process at the national, regional and international levels; and promoting the implementation of international standards in developing countries.

On the occasion of the observance, the ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao in his message stated, "The upcoming 5G standards, especially if coupled with artificial intelligence, will support a new range of applications which we will soon take for granted: from self-driving cars to safer and smart cities. ITU standards ensure interoperability, open up global markets and spur innovation and growth. They are good for developed and developing countries. They help accelerate ICTs for all Sustainable Development Goals."

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