Establishing Relations between NGOs and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU)

This site contains documents relating to an ongoing process whereby a group of development oriented NGOs are attempting to establish relations with the International Telecommunication Union.

The origins of this go back to a meeting of the MacBride Round Table on Communication in 1995, when Seán Ó Siochrú was mandated to look into establishing relations with UN organisations.  This was then taken up by the Platform for Cooperation on Communication and Democratisation in 1996.

The process has continued since then, with many ups and downs, culminating in September 1999 with an official ITU Focus Group Report on the matter being considered at an ITU Study Group meeting in Geneva.  However, although the Report was well received, there has been no resolution to the question yet, and much work remains to be done.

For a succinct account of this whole process, have a look at this short article written for the WACC Journal, Media Development: Progress for NGOs at ITU-D Meeting?

The main official documents and report can be accessed here:

ITU and NGOs: The Case for Mutual Cooperation (Word 97 88k) Seán Ó Siochrú.  A Report to the Secretary General of the ITU.  October 1995.
This was the original investigation and report by the MacBride Round Table.

ITU-D Study Group 2 Question 10/g2  Enhancing the Capacity of the NGOs to achieve Development Aims, through the use of telecommunication: Final Report, August 1999.
This is the text of the report the ITU Focus Group, and is available in several forms:

  1. The Executive Summary in HTML (English only).
  2. The full unexpurgated version, including submissions received and Annexes. (English only). Download the complete report in Word 97 format as itu_ngo.doc (308k) or (98k)
  3. The official ITU version as presented at circulated in Geneva (English only: no annexes) 085r1e.doc (169k)
  4. The background and summary of the report are available in French (085f.doc -79k) and Spanish (085s.doc - 81k). Note, these are based on early translations and do not fully reflect the content of the final report.

  5. Trouble downloading the Word or zip documents? With Netscape hold down the shift key and click the link. With Internet Explorer right click the link and choose Save target as...

    FRANÇAIS - Un sommaire du document Utilisation des télécommunications pour mieux permettre aux ONG d'atteindre leurs objectifs en matière de développement est disponible en français 085f.doc (79k).

    ESPAÑOL - Un resúmen del informe Reforzamiento de la capacidad de las ONG para lograr objetivos de desarrollo mediante la utilización de las telecomunicaciones esta disponible en español 085s.doc (81k)

The outcomes of the Geneva meeting are contained in two separate documents:

  1. The Minutes of the discussion of Study Group 2, which includes a section on our report. Available in English, French and Spanish. - Trouble downloading?
  2. A short, plain language, report from the NGO representative, to the Platform members, regarding the outcome: (English only) Outcome of the ITU-D Study Group 2 Meeting, Geneva, September 1999.
If you would like to learn more about this, contact Seán Ó Siochrú at [email protected]