150th Anniversary of the International Telecommunication Union

Press Statement
John Kerry
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
May 15, 2015


The United States congratulates the International Telecommunication Union on 150 years as an influential and important international body for the coordination of global telecommunications.

When twenty European countries met in Paris in 1865 to harmonize policies related to the telegraph and constitute the International Telegraph Union, few attendees could have anticipated the communications revolution that was just beginning.

From the spread of telegraphs and telephones to the rapid growth of radiocommunications, which enabled satellites and today’s mobile networks, the ITU has continually provided a forum for discussion, debate, and collaboration of international telecommunications issues.

Today, as the oldest specialized agency of the United Nations, the ITU includes 193 member states and over 700 sector members, including many U.S. companies and organizations. It remains a vital tool for the evolution of the telecommunication sector on a range of important technical and policy issues, including the global allocation of the radio frequency spectrum allocation, the development of technical standards management, and capacity building in developing countries.

We congratulate the ITU on its many achievements and pledge our continued engagement and support.