International Telecommunication Union

The International Telecommunication Union is a specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for many matters related to information and communication technologies.[1] It was established on 17 May 1865 as the International Telegraph Union, making it the oldest UN agency.[2]

International Telecommunication Union
Formation17 May 1865; 157 years ago (1865-05-17)
TypeUnited Nations specialized agency
Legal statusActive
HeadquartersGeneva, Switzerland
Houlin Zhao
Parent organization
United Nations Economic and Social Council

The ITU was initially aimed at helping connect telegraphic networks between countries, with its mandate consistently broadening with the advent of new communications technologies; it adopted its current name in 1934 to reflect its expanded responsibilities over radio and the telephone. On 15 November 1947, the ITU entered into an agreement with the newly created United Nations to become a specialized agency within the UN system, which formally entered into force on 1 January 1949.[3]

The ITU promotes the shared global use of the radio spectrum, facilitates international cooperation in assigning satellite orbits, assists in developing and coordinating worldwide technical standards, and works to improve telecommunication infrastructure in the developing world. It is also active in the areas of broadband Internet, wireless technologies, aeronautical and maritime navigation, radio astronomy, satellite-based meteorology, TV broadcasting, amateur radio, and next-generation networks.

Based in Geneva, Switzerland, the ITU's global membership includes 193 countries and around 900 business, academic institutions, and international and regional organizations.[4]

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