Multi-Lateral Summaries > International Telecommunication Union (ITU)

ITU is the leading United Nations agency for information and communication technology. For over 145 years, ITU has coordinated the shared global use of the radio spectrum, promoted international cooperation in assigning satellite orbits, worked to improve communication infrastructure in the developing world, and established the worldwide standards that foster seamless interconnection of a vast range of communications systems and addressed the global challenges of our times, such as mitigating climate change and strengthening cybersecurity. From broadband networks to new-generation wireless technologies, aeronautical and maritime navigation, radio astronomy, satellite-based meteorology and converging fixed-mobile phone, Internet and broadcasting technologies, ITU is committed to connecting the world. See

ITU also organizes worldwide and regional exhibitions and forums, such as ITU TELECOM WORLD, bringing together the most influential representatives of government and the telecommunications and information and communication technologies (ICT) industry to exchange ideas, knowledge and technology for the benefit of the global community and, in particular, the developing world.

From broadband Internet to latest-generation wireless technologies, from aeronautical and maritime navigation to radio astronomy and satellite-based meteorology, from convergence in fixed-mobile phone, Internet access, data, voice and TV broadcasting to next-generation networks, ITU is committed to connecting the world.

ITU’s activities are carried out by three sectors: The Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R), the Telecommunication Standardization Sector (ITU-T) and the Telecommunication Development Sector (ITU-D).

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TCB-related programme

Assisting developing countries in building human resources management and development has always been one of ITU’s fundamental roles. Capacity building is important in achieving meaningful progress in the performance of their telecommunication organizations to ensure their smooth transition to the current telecommunication environment.

Traditionally, challenges were driven by the ever-evolving telecommunication technology. This has now been overshadowed by the challenges emanating from the restructuring of the telecommunication sector, the convergence of telecommunications with information technologies and multimedia, and the transition towards competition, liberalization and globalization.

The availability of highly qualified staff at key levels in the telecommunication organizations in developing countries has become a particularly critical factor for a smooth transition of these organizations to the current telecommunication environment. Policy-makers and regulators at the governmental level, as well as corporate executives and senior managers at the service-provision level, have become the priority target population for ITU’s training and human resource development efforts.

ITU ‘s flagship initiatives include:

  • Centres of Excellence;
  • The ITU e-Learning Centre;
  • The Internet Training Centres Initiative.

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ITU is a platform for public/private sector partnership

In today’s fast moving environment, ITU provides governments and private companies with an opportunity to make an important and valuable contribution to the rapidly changing telecommunication and ICT sectors.

ITU is the UN specialized agency within which governments and the private sector work together to coordinate the operation of telecommunication networks and services and advance the development of communication technologies. Today, ITU is composed of 193 Member States and nearly 700 Sector Members and Associates.

ITU’s membership encompasses telecommunication policy-makers, regulators, network operators, equipment manufacturers, hardware and software developers, regional standard bodies, telecommunications organizations and financing institutions.

Cooperation with universities

Given the knowledge that many new technologies find life in the minds of the academic and research communities, ITU is also increasingly looking to attract more involvement from the world’s universities and other academic institutions. One of the key examples of cooperation with universities is the ITU-T Kaleidoscope Events.

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Cooperation with other organizations

ITU works in close collaboration with appropriate regional and international organizations (e.g. UNDP, WTO, UNCTAD, UPU, UNESCO, UNIDO, WHO, ILO, WMO, UNEP, UN-Habitat, ICAO, FAO, ECOSOC, IDB, World Bank, etc.) for ICT applications in their relevant domains.

TCB activities in this guide


  • Exhibitions and forums
  • Workshops and seminars


  • ICT Eye
  • Global Industry Leaders’ Forum (GILF)
  • Global Symposium for Regulators (GSR)
  • The ICT Regulation Toolkit
  • Tariff Policies Database


  • ITU technologies infrastructures and applications


  • Accessibility
  • Cybersecurity
  • Standardization


  • Environment and climate change