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International Telecommunication Union
The International Telecommunication Union is the second-oldest international organization still in existence, established to standardize and regulate international radio and telecommunications. It was founded as the International Telegraph Union in Paris on 17 May 1865. It is mandated to establish standards, allocate radio spectrum, and organize interconnection arrangements between different countries to allow international phone calls. This mandate in telecommunications is similar to the function that UPU performs for postal services. One of the specialized agencies of the United Nations, it is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, next to the main United Nations campus.
The ITU’s organizational structure is made up of three sectors:
• The Telecommunication Standardization Sector, ITU-T, whose secretariat is the Telecommunication Standardization Bureau or TSB, known prior to 1992 as the International Telephone and Telegraph Consultative Committee or CCITT
• The Radiocommunication Sector, ITU-R, whose secretariat is the Radiocommunication Bureau or BR, known prior to 1992 as the International Radio Consultative Committee or CCIR
• The Telecommunication Development Sector, ITU-D, whose secretariat is the Telecommunication Development Bureau or BDT, created in 1992.
A General Secretariat, which is a permanent body within the organization, and is headed by the Secretary General, manages the day-to-day work of the Union and its sectors.
The ITU leadership is headed by a Secretary-General, elected to a four-year term by the member states at the plenipotentiary conference.
Dr. Hamadoun Touré of Mali was elected as Secretary-General of the Union, by ITU's Member States in its 17th Plenipotentiary Conference (2006) in Antalya, Turkey.
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