International Telecommunication Union (ITU)

Union internationale des télécommunications (UIT)
Unión Internacional de Telecomunicaciones (UIT)

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Established 17 May 1865, Paris (France), as Union radiotélégraphique universelle, on adoption of first convention by 20 states and adoption of First Telegraph Regulations. Included members of West European Telegraph Union, founded 1855, between the Governments of Belgium, France, Sardinia, Spain and Switzerland. Also referred to at that time as International Telegraph Union -- Union télégraphique internationale. International Wireless Telegraph Convention (Radiotelegraph convention) signed 3 Nov 1906, Berlin (Germany), following the conclusion of Final Protocol of the Preliminary Conference Respecting Wireless Telegraphy, 13 Aug 1903, Berlin, at Preliminary Wireless Telegraphy Conference. International Bureau of Telegraphs -- Bureau international des Administrations télégraphiques was entrusted with the duties specified in Article 13 of the Convention, subject to the consent of the Government of the Swiss Federation and the approval of the Union, and financed under provisions of the International Telegraph Regulations -- Règlement télégraphique international, which came into effect 1 July 1908. Reorganized, 1932, Madrid (Spain), with present title on amalgamation of International Telegraph Convention -- Convention télégraphique internationale with International Radiotelegraph Convention, which had been signed 5 July 1912, London (UK). Since 15 Oct 1947, a specialized agency of United Nations (UN) in the framework of United Nations System, linked to United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).

General Secretariat, set up by the Vienna (Austria) International Telegraph Conference of 1868 and established in Bern (Switzerland) in 1869, has been called successively: Bureau international des administrations télégraphiques (1909-1933); Bureau de l'Union internationale des télécommuncations (1934-1947). Current title adopted in 1948, when headquarters moved to Geneva (Switzerland). Legal status: Article 9 of the 1982 Convention. Based at United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG).

Legal status:

 • International Telecommunication Convention, 1982, signed 6 Nov 1982, Nairobi (Kenya); entered into force 1 Jan 1984, superseding International Telecommunication Convention, 1973. Radio Regulations and Additional Radio Regulations signed 1979, Geneva, since partially revised by World Administrative Radio Conferences. International Telecommunications Regulation, signed 9 Dec 1988, Melbourne (Australia), entered into force 1 July 1990, replacing Telegraph Regulations, Telephone Regulations. New ITU Constitution and Convention, International Telecommunication Convention, 1989, adopted May 1989, Nice (France). Statutes registered in: 'LNTS 1365'; 'LNTS 1905'; 'LNTS 3479'.


Coordinate the shared global use of the radio spectrum; promote international cooperation in assigning satellite orbits; improve communication infrastructure in the developing world; establish worldwide standards that foster seamless interconnection of a vast range of communications systems and technologies, and therefore contributing to connect the world; leverage the power of ICTs towards achievement of the SDGs.

Future Events

2021 Geneva, Switzerland – Session

2020 Geneva, Switzerland – Session

Past Events(3)

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Standards/guidelines; politics/policy/regulatory; research/documentation; events/meetings; projects/programmes.


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Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, Spanish.


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Relations with Inter-Governmental Organizations

Relations with 78 inter-governmental organizations.
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Relations with Non-Governmental Organizations

Relations with 4 non-governmental organizations.
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Members in 193 countries
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Type I Classification

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Type II Classification

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Subjects *

  • Transportation, Telecommunications
    • Telecommunications
  • International Relations
    • United Nations

UN Sustainable Development Goals **

GOAL 1: No PovertyGOAL 2: Zero HungerGOAL 3: Good Health and Well-beingGOAL 4: Quality EducationGOAL 5: Gender EqualityGOAL 6: Clean Water and SanitationGOAL 7: Affordable and Clean EnergyGOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic GrowthGOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and InfrastructureGOAL 10: Reduced InequalityGOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and CommunitiesGOAL 12: Responsible Consumption and ProductionGOAL 13: Climate ActionGOAL 14: Life Below WaterGOAL 15: Life on LandGOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong InstitutionsGOAL 17: Partnerships to achieve the Goal



Last News Received

15. Nov 2018
* Subject classification is derived from the organization names and aims.
** UN SDGs are linked to the subject classification.

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