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ITU Conference Calls to Connect 4 Billion People to the Internet

ITU 20th Plenipotentiary Conference (PP-18)

ITU 20th Plenipotentiary Conference (PP-18)

The International Telecommunication Union’s (ITU’s) 20th Plenipotentiary Conference (PP-18) opened Monday with a global call for the world to “act as one” to connect the world’s nearly four billion people who remain unconnected to the Internet.

Information and communication technologies (ICTs) are already empowering billions of individuals around the world – by providing access to education, health care, e-government and mobile banking, among many other key services.

The Plenipotentiary Conference is the highest decision-making body of ITU, the United Nations specialized agency for ICTs. Held every four years, the Conference is the key event at which ITU Member States build consensus on key international ICT issues, elect leaders for the Union’s top posts, and decide on a roadmap for ITU’s work over the next four-year period, including strategic and financial plans.

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“New technologies like 5G, Artificial Intelligence, Big Data and the Internet of Things will change how we live, work and learn in ways that have yet to be imagined. And ITU is in the front seat. The challenge before us today is to ensure that these technologies and ICTs in general continue to be a source for good for everyone across the world,” said Houlin Zhao, ITU Secretary-General.

“May we always remember that we are stronger together – that what unites us is the common vision of a connected world, where information and communication technology is a source for good for everyone everywhere.”

More than 2500 participants are expected to attend PP-18, including heads of government, ministers and other delegates from most of ITU’s 193 Member States, as well as representatives from private companies, academic institutions and national, regional and international bodies.

PP-18 takes place from 29 October to 16 November, and is being held at the Dubai World Trade Centre, Dubai, UAE.

Photo: ITU

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