World Telecommunication & Information Society Day
May 17 is marked every year as World Telecommunication & Information Society Day, since it was proclaimed as such by a United Nations General Assembly resolution, following the 2005 World Summit on the Information Society in Tunis.
Previously the day was known as World Telecommunication Day to commemorate the founding of the International Telecommunication Union on 17 May 1865. It was instituted by the Plenipotentiary Conference in Malaga-Torremolinos in 1973. The main objective of the day is to raise global awareness of societal changes brought about by the Internet and new technologies. It also aims to help reduce the digital divide. Secretary-General of ITU or the International Telecommunication Union, Houlin Zhao, on the occasion of this day, designated 2017 as “Year of Big Data for Big Impact”. The Islamic Republic of Iran also marks May 17 as Day of Communications and Public Relations. Now we have a feature in this regard.
Every year on this day, representatives of member countries gather in Geneva to discuss the objectives determined and the rate of progress, as well as new suggestions. The goal of marking this day is to upgrade awareness in the field of Internet and communication technologies. Internet and modern technologies ought to serve the society and eliminate the digital divide. In other words, the most important goal of this meeting is consolidated efforts for more access of humans from every part of the world to information sources and the free flow of information. Secretary-General Houlin Zhao in his message said: The insight brought about by this analysis of data will enable evidence-based decision-making at national, regional and international levels and help the implementation of all 17 United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals for 2030. It will also be an occasion to take a closer look at the importance of governance and regulation, and the implications for personal privacy and security given the future exponential growth in data and connectivity. Countless opportunities will also be identified as we learn to better perfect and harness big data, and understand the impact big data can have as a global good. Activities undertaken by the ITU membership will contribute towards building momentum to embrace big data on a global scale and to seize new opportunities to address development challenges.
With the invention of telephone in 1876 and the emergence of communication satellites in the 20th century followed by the arrival of the Internet, the world actually was transformed into a global village. Telecommunication is a transmission of signs, signals, messages, images, writings, and sounds or intelligence of every nature by wire, optical, radio and also other electromagnetic systems. Communications especially electronic communications has turned into an integral part of human life in various fields. Every morning people become aware of the most important news of the world which are released by different sources, at minimal cost and in a fraction of time. All these are indebted to communications especially the electronic ones. The fact that ordinary people can monitor the activities of government sectors, criticize when necessary, offer suggestions, and thereby play a direct or indirect role in the country’s decision-making is one of the benefits of communications. Telecommunication is now considered the infrastructural factor of economic, social and cultural development. That's why the development of a country is assessed on the basis of progress in the field of telecommunications in that particular country. The purpose of telecommunications is to eliminate extra travels in the most appropriate economic conditions, reduce the reference of people to governmental organizations and save time and cost of the society.
Meanwhile the necessity of using scientific and research networks for seekers of knowledge worldwide in most fields is another advantage of telecommunications technology. What causes efficiency and speed of these networks is the increasing capability of telecommunications which has turned computers into a tool to search, collect, categorize, analyze and transmit massive amounts of data.
Information and communications in today's post-industrial society is considered the main criterion for economic and industrial development. Today the role of modern information and communication technologies in scientific and research development of countries is not hidden to anyone. In this relation, the relationship between information and communication enjoys specific importance. The link of information and communication with each other makes information - the precious raw material of the current century - available in the form of information and communication systems. Hence, policy-making and planning for scientific and research development of societies should be done in parallel with the development of information and communication. As well as for national and international cooperation in the new world order of information and communication, the one-way information flow and monopolist system ruling over the current world should be avoided. Having a monopoly on information and mass media, means having tremendous power and if we do not pay attention to it, the new order instead of being at the service of all mankind, will turn human beings into captives of the domineering system.
The Islamic Republic of Iran has made tremendous progress in this sector, without being dependent on any foreign country. The genius of Iranian scientists, engineers, and technicians in the telecommunications field and their various inventions and innovations are displayed every year during a 4 day exhibition in October.