ITU Reschedules 2 Tech Conferences in Response to COVID-19

AI for Good Global Summit. Photo: ITU
AI for Good Global Summit. Photo: ITU

Given the global coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and its partners have decided to postpone the dates for the upcoming World Information Society (WS​IS) Forum (originally in April and now from 31 August to 4 September 2020), as well as the AI for Good Global Summit (originally in May and now from 21 to 25 September 2020).

Both events will take place at the same venue – the ITU Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

Open only to representatives of Member States, Sector Members, and to chairmen and vice-chairmen of Study Groups, the Telecommunication Development Advisory Group (TDAG) originally scheduled to be held from 24 to 27 March is postponed until 2 to 5 June 2020.

Likewise, the 17th World Telecommunication/ICT Indicators Symposium, originally planned for 15 to 17 April 2020, will also be postponed and new dates will be communicated shortly.

According to ITU, the dates and venue for the Global Symposium for Regulators (1 to 3 September 2020) remain unchanged.

On Friday, 28 February 2020, the Government of the Swiss Confederation announced and put into effect a ban on large-scale events which involve more than 1,000 people. The ban is slated to last until 15 March at the earliest and the upcoming weeks are uncertain at best. In response, ITU and its partners are proactively shifting the dates of events as per above.

The World Information Society (WSIS) Forum is the world’s largest annual gathering of the ‘ICT for development’ community and aims to foster digital transformation and global partnerships to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The AI for Good Global Summit is the leading United Nations platform on AI (artificial intelligence) and its goal is to identify practical applications of AI and scale those solutions for global impact.

ITU says it will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation closely, in partnership with the Swiss authorities, the United Nations system, and the World Health Organization. We express our solidarity with the people who have been affected around the world and the health professionals working to treat them and contain the spread of the virus.

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Rakesh Raman