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Inside Geneva : what is the ITU and what is it for ?

October 10th, 2022
Imogen Foulkes
Swissinfo/Genève Vision

In this episode coproduced by Swissinfo.ch and Genève Vision, distributed on audio platforms and Swissinfo.ch, host Imogen Foulkes explores the most important UN agency most of us have never heard of.

Malcolm Johnson, deputy secretary general, ITU (the International Telecommunication Union) : ‘Telephony, radio and tv broadcasting , satellite communications, the internet, they wouldn’t have developed.’

So what has the International Telecommunications Union ever done for us?

Fiona Alexander, IT expert: ‘If you’re a beneficiary of any modern day communications network, you have benefitted from something that the ITU has done.’

And why are Russia and the United States competing to lead it?

Simon Manley, UK ambassador to the UN in Geneva: ‘We want to see an internet that is open, that is peaceful, that is secure, that enables the sharing of knowledge, the sharing of ideas.’

Can different countries really unite around best standards for the internet? And can they work together to bridge the digital divide?

Fiona Alexander, IT expert: ‘Every member state has a different perspective on what’s appropriate and what’s not appropriate online.’

Photo of Doreen Bogdan-Martin, Secretary-general elect of the ITU (International Telecommunication Union) courtesy of the ITU.

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