The International Telecommunication Union is an agency of the United Nations which regulates information and communication technology issues. ITU coordinates the shared global use of the radio spectrum, promotes international cooperation in assigning satellite orbits, works to improve telecommunication infrastructure in the developing world and establishes worldwide standards.
ITU also organizes worldwide and regional exhibitions and forums, such as ITU TELECOM WORLD, bringing together representatives of government and the telecommunications and ICT industry to exchange ideas, knowledge and technology.
The ITU is active in areas including broadband Internet, latest-generation wireless technologies, aeronautical and maritime navigation, radio astronomy, satellite-based meteorology, convergence in fixed-mobile phone, Internet access, data, voice, TV broadcasting, and next-generation networks.
ITU is based in Geneva, Switzerland, and its membership includes 191 Member States and more than 700 Sector Members and Associates.
The ITU comprises four sectors, each managing a different aspect of the matters handled by the Union:
A permanent General Secretariat, headed by the Secretary General, manages the day-to-day work of the Union and its sectors.
The ITU's mission
The ITU's mission is to enable the growth and sustained development of telecommunications and information networks, and to facilitate universal access to the emerging information society and global economy. The ITU assists in mobilizing the technical, financial, and human resources required by such development.
A major priority of the ITU is bridging the so-called "digital divide" by building adequate and safe information and communication infrastructure and developing confidence in the use of cyberspace through enhanced online security.
The ITU also concentrates on strengthening emergency communications for disaster prevention and mitigation, especially in less developed regions.
Legal framework of ITU
The basic texts of the ITU are adopted by the Plenipotentiary Conference. In addition to the Constitution and Convention, the consolidated basic texts include the Optional Protocol on the settlement of disputes, the Decisions, Resolutions and Recommendations in force, as well as the General Rules of Conferences, Assemblies and Meetings of the Union.
The ITU is headed by a Secretary-General, who is elected to a four-year term by the member states at the plenipotentiary conference.
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