ITU reinforces international Geneva and aims to close the digital divide

Biel/Bienne, 14.10.2022 - The Swiss delegation's impression of the most important conference of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), which ended on 14 October 2022 in Bucharest, was a positive one: Geneva's position as a key location for international governance in the digital space was further reinforced. ITU Member States are also committed to closing the digital divide. Switzerland managed to be re-elected to the organisation's governing body, the ITU Council. In addition, Doreen Bogdan-Martin is the first woman to be elected Secretary-General of the organisation.

Delegates reaffirmed their trust in Switzerland when electing the 48 members of the ITU Council and confirmed Switzerland's seat on the Council for the next four years. As the host country of the organisation and a member of the ITU Council, Switzerland will continue to ensure that the organisation, its staff and delegates attending ITU meetings are provided with a suitable environment. The construction of a new building is intended to ensure the lasting presence of the ITU in Geneva. This will reinforce Geneva's position as a leading location for digitalisation and technology debates.

ITU committed to closing the digital divide

Member States acknowledged the crucial role of the ITU in advancing telecommunications and information and communication technologies by enabling the organisation to address emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence. They also reaffirmed the Organisation's commitment to closing the global digital divide between developed and less developed countries, between generations and between the sexes. In Bucharest, Member States also set out the strategic goals for the next four years.

New management duo - a woman at the helm for the first time

U.S. citizen Doreen Bogdan-Martin was elected as the first-ever female Secretary-General in the ITU's 157-year history. She previously served as Director of the ITU's Telecommunication Development Bureau. Her deputy is Lithuanian citizen Tomas Lamanauskas, who was also recently elected.

The Plenipotentiary Conference is the highest policy-making body of the ITU. The most recent session was held in Bucharest (Romania) from 26 September to 14 October 2022. Switzerland sent a delegation led by Bernard Maissen, Head of the Federal Office of Communications (OFCOM), to take part.

Founded in 1865, the ITU is the oldest international organisation devoted to technical cooperation. Today, it has 193 Member States and over 900 non-governmental members.

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