The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is the leading United Nations agency for information and communication technologies. As the global focal point for governments and the private sector, ITU's role in helping the world communicate spans 3 core sectors: radiocommunication, standardization and development. ITU also organizes TELECOM events and was the lead organizing agency of the World Summit on the Information Society.
ITU is based in Geneva, Switzerland, and its membership includes 192 Member States and more than 700 Sector Members and Associates.
Article 2 of the ITU Constitution states that the International Telecommunication Union is an intergovernmental organization in which Member States and Sector Members, having well-defined rights and obligations, and having due regard to the principle of universality and the desirability of universal participation, shall cooperate for the fulfillment of the purposes of the Union, as set out in its Constitution.
Nos. 70 and 70A (Article 10) of the Constitution task the ITU Council with preparing a report on the policy and strategic planning recommended for the Union, together with their financial implications, in keeping with the guidelines established by the Plenipotentiary Conference, to ensure that the Union’s policies and strategies fully respond to the constantly changing telecommunication/ICT environment.
ITU’s mission is to enable the growth and sustained development of telecommunications and information networks, and to facilitate universal access so that people everywhere can participate in, and benefit from, the emerging information society and global economy. The ability to communicate freely is a pre-requisite for a more equitable, prosperous and peaceful world. And ITU assists in mobilizing the technical, financial and human resources needed to make this vision a reality. A key priority lies in bridging the so called Digital Divide by building information and communication infrastructure, promoting adequate capacity building and developing confidence in the use of cyberspace through enhanced online security. Achieving cybersecurity and cyberpeace are among the most critical concerns of the information age, and ITU is taking concrete measures through its landmark Global Cybersecurity Agenda. ITU also concentrates on strengthening emergency communications for disaster prevention and mitigation. While both developing and developed countries are equally vulnerable to natural disasters, poorer nations are hardest hit because of their already fragile economies and lack of resources. Whether through developing the standards used to create infrastructure to deliver telecommunications services on a worldwide basis, through equitable management of the radio-frequency spectrum and satellite orbits to help bring wireless services to every corner of the world, or through providing support to countries as they pursue telecommunication development strategies, all the elements of ITU’s work are centered around the goal of putting every human being within easy and affordable reach of information and communication and to contribute significantly towards economic and social development of all people.
ITU Secretary-General - Mr. Houlin Zhao (since January 1, 2015).