The International Telecommunication Union, ITU, founded in 1865, is the oldest of all UN agencies. The ITU is located in Geneva.


The main objective of the ITU is to promote and coordinate the establishment and operations of global telecommunication networks and services.

As part of the United Nations structure, countries can be members, referred to as Member States. Sector Members are public or private companies and organizations with an interest in telecommunications.

The ITU activities are organized within three sectors:

  1. The Radio Communication Sector (ITU-R);
  2. The Telecommunication Standardization Sector (ITU-T)
  3. The Telecommunication Development Sector (ITU-D).

Sector members can participate in the work of one or more sectors.


The Plenipotentiary Conference is the highest policy-making body of the ITU, where all members are represented. Held every four years, it determines the general policies and elects members of the other ITU organs. World or regional conferences on international telecommunications may be convened between the sessions of the ITU Conference.

The Administrative Council acts as the Union’s governing body in the interval between Plenipotentiary Conferences. It implements the decisions of the Conference and supervises the ITU activities.

The General Secretariat, directed by a Secretary-General, is the administrative centre.

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Last modified: 2024-02-15