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 Constitution of ITU: Chapter I - Basic Provisions

ARTICLE 1 - Purposes of the Union

2 1 The purposes of the Union are:
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a) to maintain and extend international cooperation among all its Member States for the improvement and rational use of telecommunications of all kinds;

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a bis) to promote and enhance participation of entities and organizations in the activities of the Union and foster fruitful cooperation and partnership between them and Member States for the fulfilment of the overall objectives as embodied in the purposes of the Union;

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b) to promote and to offer technical assistance to developing countries in the field of telecommunications, and also to promote the mobilization of the material, human and financial resources needed for its implementation, as well as access to information;

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c) to promote the development of technical facilities and their most efficient operation with a view to improving the efficiency of telecommunication services, increasing their usefulness and making them, so far as possible, generally available to the public;

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d) to promote the extension of the benefits of the new telecommunication technologies to all the world’s inhabitants;

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e) to promote the use of telecommunication services with the objective of facilitating peaceful relations;

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f) to harmonize the actions of Member States and promote fruitful and constructive cooperation and partnership between Member States and Sector Members in the attainment of those ends;

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g) to promote, at the international level, the adoption of a broader approach to the issues of telecommunications in the global information economy and society, by cooperating with other world and regional intergovernmental organizations and those non-governmental organizations concerned with telecommunications.

10 2 To this end, the Union shall in particular:
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a) effect allocation of bands of the radio-frequency spectrum, the allotment of radio frequencies and the registration of radio-frequency assignments and, for space services, of any associated orbital position in the geostationary-satellite orbit or of any associated characteristics of satellites in other orbits, in order to avoid harmful interference between radio stations of different countries;

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b) coordinate efforts to eliminate harmful interference between radio stations of different countries and to improve the use made of the radio-frequency spectrum for radiocommunication services and of the geostationary-satellite and other satellite orbits;

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c) facilitate the worldwide standardization of telecommunications, with a satisfactory quality of service;

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d) foster international cooperation and solidarity in the delivery of technical assistance to the developing countries and the creation, development and improvement of telecommunication equipment and networks in developing countries by every means at its disposal, including through its participation in the relevant programmes of the United Nations and the use of its own resources, as appropriate;

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e) coordinate efforts to harmonize the development of telecommunication facilities, notably those using space techniques, with a view to full advantage being taken of their possibilities;

 

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f) foster collaboration among Member States and Sector Members with a view to the establishment of rates at levels as low as possible consistent with an efficient service and taking into account the necessity for maintaining independent financial administration of telecommunications on a sound basis;

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g) promote the adoption of measures for ensuring the safety of life through the cooperation of telecommunication services;

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h) undertake studies, make regulations, adopt resolutions, formulate recommendations and opinions, and collect and publish information concerning telecommunication matters;

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i) promote, with international financial and development organizations, the establishment of preferential and favourable lines of credit to be used for the development of social projects aimed, inter alia, at extending telecommunication services to the most isolated areas in countries.

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j) promote participation of concerned entities in the activities of the Union and cooperation with regional and other organizations for the fulfilment of the purposes of the Union.

ARTICLE 2 - Composition of the Union

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The International Telecommunication Union is an intergovernmental organization in which Member States and Sector Members, having well-defined rights and obligations, cooperate for the fulfilment of the purposes of the Union. It shall, having regard to the principle of universality and the desirability of universal participation in the Union, be composed of:
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a) any State which is a Member State of the International Telecommunication Union as a Party to any International Telecommunication Convention prior to the entry into force of this Constitution and the Convention;

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b) any other State, a Member of the United Nations, which accedes to this Constitution and the Convention in accordance with Article 53 of this Constitution;

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c) any other State, not a Member of the United Nations, which applies for membership of the Union and which, after having secured approval of such application by two-thirds of the Member States of the Union, accedes to this Constitution and the Convention in accordance with Article 53 of this Constitution. If such application for membership is made during the interval between two plenipotentiary conferences, the Secretary-General shall consult the Member States of the Union; a Member State shall be deemed to have abstained if it has not replied within four months after its opinion has been requested.

ARTICLE 3 - PP-98 Rights and Obligations of Member States and Sector Members

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1 Member States and Sector Members shall have the rights and shall be subject to the obligations provided for in this Constitution and the Convention.
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2 Rights of Member States in respect of their participation in the conferences, meetings and consultations of the Union are:
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a) all Member States shall be entitled to participate in conferences, shall be eligible for election to the Council and shall have the right to nominate candidates for election as officials of the Union or as members of the Radio Regulations Board;

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b) subject to the provisions of Nos. 169 and 210 of this Constitution, each Member State shall have one vote at all plenipotentiary conferences, all world conferences and all Sector assemblies and study group meetings and, if it is a Member State of the Council, all sessions of that Council. At regional conferences, only the Member States of the region concerned shall have the right to vote;

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c) subject to the provisions of Nos. 169 and 210 of this Constitution, each Member State shall also have one vote in all consultations carried out by correspondence. In the case of consultations regarding regional conferences, only the Member States of the region concerned shall have the right to vote.

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3 In respect of their participation in activities of the Union, Sector Members shall be entitled to participate fully in the activities of the Sector of which they are members, subject to relevant provisions of this Constitution and the Convention:
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a) they may provide chairmen and vice-chairmen of Sector assemblies and meetings and world telecommunication development conferences;

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b) they shall be entitled, subject to the relevant provisions of the Convention and relevant decisions adopted in this regard by the Plenipotentiary Conference, to take part in the adoption of Questions and Recommendations and in decisions relating to the working methods and procedures of the Sector concerned.

ARTICLE 4 - Instruments of the Union

29 1 The instruments of the Union are:
  – this Constitution of the International Telecommunication Union,
  – the Convention of the International Telecommunication Union, and
  – the Administrative Regulations.
30 2 This Constitution, the provisions of which are complemented by those of the Convention, is the basic instrument of the Union.
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3 The provisions of both this Constitution and the Convention are further complemented by those of the Administrative Regulations, enumerated below, which regulate the use of telecommunications and shall be binding on all Member States:
  – International Telecommunication Regulations,
  – Radio Regulations.
32 4 In the case of inconsistency between a provision of this Constitution and a provision of the Convention or of the Administrative Regulations, the Constitution shall prevail. In the case of inconsistency between a provision of the Convention and a provision of the Administrative Regulations, the Convention shall prevail.

ARTICLE 5 - Definitions

33 Unless the context otherwise requires:
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a) the terms used in this Constitution and defined in its Annex, which forms an integral part of this Constitution, shall have the meanings assigned to them in that Annex;

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b) the terms – other than those defined in the Annex to this Constitution – used in the Convention and defined in the Annex thereto, which forms an integral part of the Convention, shall have the meanings assigned to them in that Annex;

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c) other terms defined in the Administrative Regulations shall have the meanings therein assigned to them.

ARTICLE 6 - Execution of the Instruments of the Union

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1 The Member States are bound to abide by the provisions of this Constitution, the Convention and the Administrative Regulations in all telecommunication offices and stations established or operated by them which engage in international services or which are capable of causing harmful interference to radio services of other countries, except in regard to services exempted from these obligations in accordance with the provisions of Article 48 of this Constitution.
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2 The Member States are also bound to take the necessary steps to impose the observance of the provisions of this Constitution, the Convention and the Administrative Regulations upon operating agencies authorized by them to establish and operate telecommunications and which engage in international services or which operate stations capable of causing harmful interference to the radio services of other countries.

ARTICLE 7 - Structure of the Union

39 The Union shall comprise:
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a) the Plenipotentiary Conference, which is the supreme organ of the Union;

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b) the Council, which acts on behalf of the Plenipotentiary Conference;

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c) world conferences on international telecommunications;

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d) the Radiocommunication Sector, including world and regional radiocommunication conferences, radiocommunication assemblies and the Radio Regulations Board;

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e) the Telecommunication Standardization Sector, including world telecommunication standardization assemblies;

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f) the Telecommunication Development Sector, including world and regional telecommunication development conferences;

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g) the General Secretariat.

ARTICLE 8 - Plenipotentiary Conference

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1 The Plenipotentiary Conference shall be composed of delegations representing Member States. It shall be convened every four years.
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2 On the basis of proposals by Member States and taking account of reports by the Council, the Plenipotentiary Conference shall:
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a) determine the general policies for fulfilling the purposes of the Union prescribed in Article 1 of this Constitution;

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b) consider the reports by the Council on the activities of the Union since the previous plenipotentiary conference and on the policy and strategic planning of the Union;

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c) in the light of its decisions taken on the reports referred to in No. 50 above, establish the strategic plan for the Union and the basis for the budget of the Union, and determine related financial limits, until the next plenipotentiary conference, after considering all relevant aspects of the work of the Union in that period;

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c bis) establish, using the procedures described in Nos. 161D to 161G of this Constitution, the total number of contributory units for the period up to the next plenipotentiary conference on the basis of the classes of contribution announced by Member States;

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d) provide any general directives dealing with the staffing of the Union and, if necessary, fix the basic salaries, the salary scales and the system of allowances and pensions for all the officials of the Union;

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e) examine the accounts of the Union and finally approve them, if appropriate;

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f) elect the Member States which are to serve on the Council;

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g) elect the Secretary-General, the Deputy Secretary-General and the Directors of the Bureaux of the Sectors as elected officials of the Union;

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h) elect the members of the Radio Regulations Board;

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i) consider and adopt, if appropriate, proposals for amendments to this Constitution and the Convention, put forward by Member States, in accordance with the provisions of Article 55 of this Constitution and the relevant provisions of the Convention, respectively;

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j) conclude or revise, if necessary, agreements between the Union and other international organizations, examine any provisional agreements with such organizations concluded by the Council on behalf of the Union, and take such measures in connection therewith as it deems appropriate;

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j bis) adopt and amend the General Rules of conferences, assemblies and meetings of the Union;

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k) deal with such other telecommunication questions as may be necessary.

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3 Exceptionally, in the interval between two ordinary Plenipotentiary Conferences, it shall be possible to convene an extraordinary Plenipotentiary Conference with a restricted agenda to deal with specific matters:
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a) by a decision of the preceding ordinary Plenipotentiary Conference;

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b) should two-thirds of the Member States individually so request the Secretary-General;

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c) at the proposal of the Council with the approval of at least two-thirds of the Member States.

ARTICLE 9 - Principles Concerning Elections and Related Matters

60 1 The Plenipotentiary Conference, at any elections referred to in Nos. 54 to 56 of this Constitution, shall ensure that:
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a) the Member States of the Council are elected with due regard to the need for equitable distribution of the seats on the Council among all regions of the world;

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b) the Secretary-General, the Deputy Secretary-General and the Directors of the Bureaux shall be elected among the candidates proposed by Member States as their nationals and shall all be nationals of different Member States, and at their election due consideration should be given to equitable geographical distribution amongst the regions of the world; due consideration should also be given to the principles embodied in No. 154 of this Constitution;

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c) the members of the Radio Regulations Board shall be elected in their individual capacity from among the candidates proposed by Member States as their nationals. Each Member State may propose only one candidate. The members of the Radio Regulations Board shall not be nationals of the same Member State as the Director of the Radiocommunication Bureau; at their election, due consideration should be given to equitable geographical distribution amongst the regions of the world and to the principles embodied in No. 93 of this Constitution.

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2 Provisions relating to taking up duties, vacancy and re-eligibility are contained in the Convention.

ARTICLE 10 - The Council

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1 1) The Council shall be composed of Member States elected by the Plenipotentiary Conference in accordance with the provisions of No. 61 of this Constitution.
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2) Each Member State of the Council shall appoint a person to serve on the Council who may be assisted by one or more advisers.
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(SUP)
68 3 In the interval between Plenipotentiary Conferences, the Council shall act, as governing body of the Union, on behalf of the Plenipotentiary Conference within the limits of the powers delegated to it by the latter.
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4 1) The Council shall take all steps to facilitate the implementation by the Member States of the provisions of this Constitution, of the Convention, of the Administrative Regulations, of the decisions of the Plenipotentiary Conference, and, where appropriate, of the decisions of other conferences and meetings of the Union, and perform any duties assigned to it by the Plenipotentiary Conference.
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2) The Council shall consider broad telecommunication policy issues in accordance with the guidelines given by the Plenipotentiary Conference to ensure that the Union’s policies and strategy fully respond to changes in the telecommunication environment.
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2 bis) The Council shall prepare a report on the policy and strategic planning recommended for the Union, together with their financial implications, using the specific data prepared by the Secretary-General under No. 74A below.
71 3) It shall ensure the efficient coordination of the work of the Union and exercise effective financial control over the General Secretariat and the three Sectors.
72 4) It shall contribute, in accordance with the purposes of the Union, to the development of telecommunications in the developing countries by every means at its disposal, including through the participation of the Union in the appropriate programmes of the United Nations.

ARTICLE 11 - General Secretariat

73 1 1) The General Secretariat shall be directed by a Secretary-General, assisted by one Deputy Secretary-General.
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The Secretary-General shall act as the legal representative of the Union.
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2) The functions of the Secretary-General are specified in the Convention. In addition, the Secretary-General shall:
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a) coordinate the Union’s activities, with the assistance of the Coordination Committee;

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b) prepare, with the assistance of the Coordination Committee, and provide to the Member States and Sector Members, such specific information as may be required for the preparation of a report on the policies and strategic plan for the Union, and coordinate the implementation of the plan; this report shall be communicated to the Member States and Sector Members for review during the last two regularly scheduled sessions of the Council before a plenipotentiary conference;

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c) take all the actions required to ensure economic use of the Union’s resources and be responsible to the Council for all the administrative and financial aspects of the Union’s activities;

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(SUP)
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3) The Secretary-General may act as depositary of special arrangements established in conformity with Article 42 of this Constitution.
77 2 The Deputy Secretary-General shall be responsible to the Secretary-General; he shall assist the Secretary-General in the performance of his duties and undertake such specific tasks as may be entrusted to him by the Secretary-General. He shall perform the duties of the Secretary-General in the absence of the latter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

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Updated: 2014-10-21