Australia Re-elected to ITU Council
Australia was successfully re-elected to the Council of the International Telecommunication Union at the 2018 Plenipotentiary Conference in Dubai.
The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is the United Nations specialised agency for information and communication technologies (ICTs). As part of its role, the ITU establishes treaty agreements and recommends world standards for telecommunications, radiocommunications and satellite services to ensure these networks and ICTs can easily and seamlessly interconnect around the world.
Australia's contribution to the ITU
Since we were first elected to the ITU Council in 1959, Australia has played a pivotal role in the ITU's support for communications in our region, especially in aiding capacity–building efforts.
Australia's position on the Council strengthens our ability to enhance ITU outcomes, shape global treaties and commitments, enhance ICTs and improve the ITU's governance and financial management.
ICTs are now fundamental to how we live, work and interact. They allow us to communicate with friends and family locally, nationally and globally. They are also essential to the management and control of most of the modern services we enjoy, including national infrastructure such as power, water, public transport and telecommunications, as well as other important services such as healthcare, education, e-commerce, government and emergency services. Australia is committed to improving access to ICTs in underserved communities worldwide.
As a Council Member, Australia promotes an efficient, effective and inclusive ITU where member states, sector members, associates and academia can share ideas and work collaboratively. Australia's work helps the ITU strengthen its governance arrangements and enhance its accountability and transparency.
We are proud of our work with the ITU, and Australia's actions to help connect and improve the technological wellbeing of all of the world's people—wherever they live and whatever their means. Our work has significantly assisted communities in the Asia-Pacific region in particular, and Australia is honoured to have been the only member state to receive an award at the 2017 ITU World Telecommunications Development Conference for our substantial contribution to the ITU's development activities over a long period of time.
Since the 2014 Plenipotentiary Conference, Australia has actively participated in every ITU Council meeting, Council Working Group meeting cluster, conference and assembly and engaged in all preparatory processes for the ITU conferences and assemblies in the lead up to the 2018 Plenipotentiary Conference (PP-18) (see infographic below).
Preparations for ITU election
A key focus for Australia's preparations for PP-18 was hosting the third Asia-Pacific Telecommunity (APT) meeting, held in Melbourne from 18 to 21 June 2018. Further details on the meeting are available on the Asia-Pacific Telecommunity website.
In the lead up to PP-18, the Department worked closely with our stakeholders, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Australian Communications and Media Authority to campaign for Australia's re-election to the ITU Council and to develop Australia's policy positions to take forward to PP-18.
To support the development of Australian positions for the conference, we have prepared a stakeholder information paper that provides an overview of key issues for the conferences and poses a number of questions to stakeholders. The information paper can be downloaded from the link at the bottom of this page.
The role of the ITU Council
The ITU Council oversees the operations of the ITU and ensures its activities, budgets, policies and strategies are aligned with the decisions made at the Plenipotentiary Conference and in response to today's rapidly changing telecommunications environment.
The Council is made up of 48 members, split across five world regions. Australia has been an elected member of the Council since 1959.
Highlight on the Plenipotentiary Conference 2018 (PP-18)
PP-18 is the ITU's top policy-making meeting, and the most important event for influencing decisions on the future role of the organisation and its ability to support the development of telecommunications worldwide. It provides an opportunity for all 193 member states to come together to agree on the Union's overall strategic and financial plans, leadership and direction for the next four years.
PP-18 was held in Dubai, from 29 October to 16 November 2018. Elections were held at the PP-18 for the 48 positions on the ITU Council as well as its senior management team, and the 12 members of the Radio Regulations Board.
Australia was re-elected at PP-18, and will continue its role as an active Council Member so we can continue to support the ITU's efforts to promote open, accessible and inclusive global communications.