The International Telecommunication Union (ITU)
The International Telegraph Union (ITU) was formed in Paris on May 17,1865, when 20 European nations met to work out an international agreementto facilitate telegraphic communications. The ITU thus became the world'sfirst international coordinating body. The second (convened on September 15, 1974) was the Universal Postal Union. Each had similar obstacles,since the mail and telegraph lines both had to cross national borders.The International Telegraph Union decided on standardized equipment and operating rules to guarantee interconnection to the European telegraph network, and they decided to use the "international" version of the Morse alphabet. It was also agreed that the organization would serve as a meeting place for future amendments. This marked the birth of the ITU.Today, more than 130 years later, the factors that led to the formation of the Union still apply, and fundamental goals of the ITU are basically the same.
The name change to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) took effect on January 1, 1934. Eighty countries, 62 private companies, and other bodies were the initial members. The next 15 years (1932-1947) were not productive ones for the ITU. Propaganda broadcasting, revolution, and World War 2 were accompanied by much jamming, interference and non-cooperation among nations of the world. That all changed in 1947, however, with World War 2 over, it was decided at the Atlantic City Conference to make the ITU a specialized government agency of the United Nations and to move its headquarters from Bern, Switzerland to Geneva the following year. The most important change, however, was that membership become open only to sovereign nations, each of which would have one vote. This substantially increased the influence of small or developing countries in a manner totally unrelated to industrial wealth or telecommunications usage.
Source: CQ-AUGUST-1997 BY FREDERICK O. MAIA. W5YI