Nigeria retains ITU Council membership

By Kokumo Goodie, Lagos, Nigeria

Nigeria has been reelected into the Council of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). The election was the highpoint of the Plenipotentiary Conference currently holding in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The 20th Plenipotentiary Conference of the Council, also reelected   ITU Secretary-General, Houlin Zhao, for another term of four years.

Nigeria and the countries elected to the Council will begin another four-year term from January 2019.

The 153-year old ITU, is an agency of the United Nations (UN), set up to coordinate telecommunication operations and services throughout the world.

Originally founded in 1865, as the International Telegraph Union, the ITU is the oldest existing international organisation and headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.

Nigeria became a member of ITU on November 4, 1961. USA joined on July 1, 1908; United Kingdom, February 24, 1871, and UAE on June 27, 1972.

The ITU is governed by the Plenipotentiary Conference, which is the supreme organ of the Union, which elects its senior officials, the 48 members of its Council and its 12 members of the Radio Regulations Board.

It also determines the direction of the Union and its activities over the following four years.

The ITU Council body of the union between Plenipotentiary Conferences, which take place every four years.

It ensures oversight of the Union’s activities, policies and strategies, manages Working Groups on specific topics set up by Plenipotentiary Conferences or by the Council itself, and prepares the draft ITU strategic and financial plans for presentation to the Plenipotentiary.

The seats were divided into five regions, which include Region A, with the Americas having nine seats. The countries are Argentina; Bahamas; Brazil; Canada; Cuba; El Salvador; Mexico; Paraguay; United States.

Western Europe with eight seats including France; Germany; Greece; Hungary; Italy; Spain; Switzerland and Turkey. They are in Region B.

Nigeria and 12 others including Algeria; Burkina Faso; Cote d ’Ivoire; Egypt; Ghana; Kenya; Morocco; Rwanda; Senegal; South Africa; Tunisia; Uganda are in region D. Asia and Australia; China; India; Indonesia; Iran; Japan; Korea; Kuwait; Pakistan; Philippines; Saudi Arabia; Thailand; and United Arab Emirates, all belong to region E.

ITU, through its Radio communication Sector (ITU-R), and its secretariat the Radio communication Bureau, is the global authority responsible for the management of the radio frequency spectrum and satellite orbit resources. With the relentless expansion of wireless services worldwide, there are competing demands for a share of the radio-frequency spectrum to support new applications. The importance and relevance of ITU-R work is therefore increasing every day.

Meanwhile, Zhao, an ICT engineer, who has served in a variety of senior management positions at ITU, will begin his second, and last four-year term on January 1, 2019. “We continue to connect the unconnected. We are strengthening partnerships to implement our common vision of a connected world, where information and communication technology is a source for good for everyone everywhere” he said.

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