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WORLD DEVELOPMENT INFORMATION DAY
10/24/2020 12:41:02 AM
Dr. Parveen Kumar

Information is the basis and basic for development. The Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have the potential to provide new solutions to development challenges, particularly in the context of globalization. These can foster economic growth, competitiveness, access to information and knowledge, poverty eradication, and social inclusion. Besides, they help to expedite the integration of all countries, especially developing countries, in particular the least developed countries, into the global economy. It is also a well-established fact that information and communications technologies present new opportunities and challenges and that there is a pressing need to address the major impediments that developing countries face in accessing the new technologies, such as insufficient resources, infrastructure, education, capacity, investment and connectivity, and issues related to technology ownership, standards and flows, and in this regard calls upon all stakeholders to provide adequate resources, enhanced capacity-building and technology transfer, on mutually agreed terms, to developing countries. The need for information of development was felt long time back when on May 17, 1972 the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) proposed measures for information dissemination and for the mobilization of public opinion relative to trade and development problems. These became known as resolution 3038 (XXVII), which the UN General Assembly passed on December 19, 1972. This resolution called for introducing ‘World Development Information Day’ to help draw the attention of people worldwide to development problems. A further aim of the event is to explain to the general public why it is necessary to strengthen international cooperation to find ways to solve these problems. The assembly also decided that the day should coincide with United Nations Day to stress the central role of development in the UN's work. World Development Information Day was first held on October 24, 1973, and has been held on this date each year since then. The day was further recognized as the date on which the International Development Strategy for the Second Nations Development Decade was adopted in 1970. The General Assembly also decided that the date for the Day should coincide with United Nations Day, 24 October, which was also the date of the adoption, in 1970, of the International Development Strategy for the Second United Nations Development Decade. The United Nations General Assembly deemed that improving the dissemination of information and the mobilization of public opinion, particularly among young people, would lead to greater awareness of the problems of development, thus, promoting efforts in the sphere of international cooperation for development.
The world today stands at cross roads. The humanity today is suffering from some various serious problems of hunger, malnutrition, environmental degradation and climate change. Adding woes to these, the emergence of COVID-19 in the previous year in China and its spread to many other countries devastated the whole world. Lakhs of crores of lives were lost. Still the virus is not showing any signs of decline. Timely and relevant information could help the humanity in overcoming co many of the existing problems and save many precious lives. When we talk of development information, there are still many challenges in accessing the information. There are concerns regarding the digital divide in access to information and communications technology tools and broadband connectivity between countries at different levels of development, which affects many economically and socially relevant applications in areas such as government, business, health and education, and further expresses concern with regard to the special challenges faced in the area of broadband connectivity by developing countries, including the least developed countries, small island developing States and landlocked developing countries.
In 2016, world leaders launched their 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The sustainable development goals include ending poverty and hunger, ensure healthy lives and promote well being, improve sustainable agriculture, ensuring healthy lives and well being with inclusive and quality education, achieving gender equality, ensuring availability of safe and easily accessible drinking water, access to affordable energy, building resilient infrastructure, reducing inequality, combating climate change, conservation and sustainable use of natural resources, promotion of peaceful societies and providing access to justice, strengthening the means of implementation and revitalizing the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development. To achieve all of these goals, the UN needs to implement improved communication and information dissemination. The improvements in modern information technology can help to achieve these goals well in advance of the deadline.
The ‘World Development Information Day’ focuses on improving the dissemination of information and mobilizing public opinion, especially among young people. The primary goal for improving the dissemination of information and mobilizing public opinion is to create awareness for problems of development. Unless and until, the world brings its attention to the issues of development, the countries around the world will not be better equipped to solve such problems. The need for integrating information and communication policy with other policies needs to be better understood in most developing countries. Information and communication technologies and the new global information infrastructure have both positive and negative impacts on development. Widening disparities can lead to further disenfranchisement of the ‘have-nots’, but can also help empower them. In recent years many events have interpreted the title of the day slightly differently. These have concentrated on the role that modern information-technologies, such as the Internet and mobile telephones free from digital divide can play in alerting people and finding solutions to problems of trade and development.
All across the globe, about 1,500 different days of national and international importance are being celebrated. Such National and International days are occasions to educate the public on issues of concern, to mobilize political will and resources to address global problems, and to celebrate and reinforce achievements of humanity. The existence of international days predates the establishment of the United Nations, but also that the UN has embraced them as a powerful advocacy tool.
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