President George Manneh Weah has issued a Proclamation declaring Monday, May 17, 2021 as “World Telecommunications and Information Society Day” and is to be observed throughout the Republic as a “Working Holiday.”
According to a Foreign Ministry release, World Telecommunications Day has been celebrated annually on May 17 since 1969 to mark the founding of International Communications Union (ITU) and the signing of the first International Telegraph Convention on May 17, 1865.
The Proclamation calls on government ministries and agencies, business houses, national and international ICT organizations concerned as well as telecommunications companies and internet service providers, to cooperate with the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications to execute appropriate programs befitting the occasion.
The Proclamation further declared that the Observance is in consonance with United Nations General Assembly Resolution A/RES/60/252 adopted in May 2006, stipulating that “World Information Society Day” shall be celebrated on the 17th of May of each year by member states.
The Proclamation also stated that the Government of Liberia support plans of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS), geared towards building competencies in the ICT, especially of women and girls as well as physically challenged individuals through the promotion of equitable access to opportunities provided by the ITU.
The release added that the Government of Liberia, through the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications, will join Member States of ITU, to celebrate World Telecommunications and Information Society Day on May 17, 2021, under the theme: “Accelerating digital transformation in challenging times”:
According to the release, this year’s celebration will take place at the Mamba Point Hotel, Mamba Point, and Monrovia Liberia.
The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) was founded in 1934 replacing the International Telegraph Convention of 1865 for the purpose of helping members states of the Union harmonize their policies, bridge technological differences, foster inter-operability of networks, harness the full potential of information and communication technologies (ICTs) for economic and social advancement, according to the Proclamation.
In November 2006, the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference in Antalya, Turkey decided to celebrate both events on May 17 as World Telecommunications and Information Society Day.
The Proclamation added that, the Government of Liberia, being a founding member of the ITU, shall support and uphold rules and procedures laid down by the world body.
The ITU, comprised of 192 Member States and over 700 sector members, is the specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) responsible to facilitate development of telecommunications and ICT services globally, the Proclamation asserts.-Press release