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International Telecommunication Union and Asia-Pacific Telecommunity logo

About ITU

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is a United Nations specialised agency bringing together governments and industry to develop efficient and affordable global telecommunication networks and services. It focuses on standardisation, radio spectrum management, and the development of and access to information communication technology.

Our department leads Australia’s engagement at ITU and at the Asia-Pacific Telecommunity (APT), including efforts to develop policies and regulatory approaches that build open and competitive telecommunications markets.

APT is an important platform for consolidating regional voices in preparation for major ITU conferences. In 2024, this includes the APT Preparatory Group for the ITU World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly 2024.

Our work at ITU

Australia's support and direct involvement with ITU and its predecessor organisation dates back to 1878.

We have been an active ITU Council member for Region E (Asia and Australasia) since 1959. We work hard to get the best outcomes for our region and the broader ITU.

Australia is honoured and proud to have been re-elected to the ITU Council in 2022. As Council members in the 2023 to 2026 term, we are continuing our hard work to bridge the digital divide, improve governance and shape the ITU to respond to the challenges ahead.

Council members represent five regions

Region A (Americas) 35 Member States, 9 seats
Region B (Western Europe) 33 Member States, 8 seats
Region C (Eastern Europe and Northern Asia) 21 Member States, 5 seats
Region D (Africa) 54 Member States, 13 seats
Region E (Asia and Australasia) (our region) 50 Member States, 13 seats

Supporting an open, constructive ITU Council

Australia has a record supporting strong ITU governance arrangements. In particular, we work to promote accountability, transparency and inclusion in the Union. For example, we support open document access policies and a culture of consultation and cooperation.

As one of the top ten financial contributors to ITU, we also place a strong focus on efficient financial management. This helps to maximise funds available for capacity building activities and improving access to telecommunications in underserviced communities.

Building connectivity

Telecommunications is a powerful tool for development. Australia actively supports the ITU Development Sector (ITU-D) to bring all people worldwide within easy reach of telecommunications and its benefits.

Australia's financial contributions to the ITU Development Sector (ITU-D) fund practical and impactful projects in the Asia‑Pacific region.

Sharing our unique domestic experience with the world

We are proud of our efforts in Australia to make regional connectivity a priority. For example:

By actively sharing with ITU members our experiences building telecommunications capability, we can help pave the way for better regional communications globally.

Radiocommunications

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Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder - Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory

Australia is a significant contributor to global radiocommunications. We have a proud heritage in the ITU Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R). This includes holding chairing roles in several ITU-R study groups and working parties. Australia invented WiFi technology and is also a leader in radio science, with significant local ventures including CSIRO’ Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder.

Australia will continue to support international cooperation on radiocommunications that enables regulatory certainty and the rational, efficient use of radio spectrum and satellite orbit resources.