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from the Chronology

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1865. 17 May The first international standards organization, the International Telegraph Union, was established in Paris where delegates were gathered in conference from 20 European states. The mandate was to help connect telegraphic networks between countries. The Union was tasked with implementing basic principles for international telegraphy which included the use of the Morse code as the international telegraph alphabet, the protection of the secrecy of correspondence, and the right of everybody to use the international telegraphy.

In 1906 Berlin was the host of a conference to consider radiotelegraph standards. It was attended by representatives of 29 nations and culminated in the International Radiotelegraph Convention. An annex to the convention eventually became known as ITU Radio Regulations. At the conference it was also decided that the Bureau of the International Telegraph Union would also act as the conference's central administrator. The name International Telecommunication Union was adopted in 1932 to reflect its expanded responsibilities over radio and the telephone. On 15 November 1947, the ITU entered into an agreement with the newly created United Nations to become a specialized agency within the UN system.

The mandate of the ITU has broadened with the advent of new communications technologies. It promotes the shared global use of the radio spectrum, facilitates international cooperation in assigning satellite orbits, assists in developing and coordinating worldwide technical standards, and works to improve telecommunication infrastructure in the developing world. It is also active in the areas of broadband Internet, optical communications (including optical fibre technologies), wireless technologies, aeronautical and maritime navigation, radio astronomy, satellite-based meteorology, TV broadcasting, amateur radio, and next-generation networks.

Based in Geneva, Switzerland with regional offices on every continent. the ITU's global membership included 193 countries as well as more than 1,000 businesses, academic institutions, and international and regional organizations. [ITU Website]

Geneva; Switzerland; Paris; France; Berlin; Germany United Nations; International relations; International Standards ITU Website];</i> ; </i> "></i>; </b> "> </b>
1989. 4 Nov Half a million citizens had gathered in East Berlin's public square Alexanderplatz, calling for change. Five days later, the German Democratic Republic, facing mounting public pressure from its people, relented. They thought they could calm the protests by loosening the border controls, making it easier for East Berliners to travel, without opening the border up completely. A spokesperson for the East German government, Günter Schabowski, held a hastily arranged press conference to announce the changes. But in a moment that would alter the course of history, he mistakenly declared that East Germans would be allowed to cross the border freely, effective immediately.

The announcement stunned the journalists at the press conference, who greeted it with first disbelief and then elation. The news spread like wildfire and within hours, thousands of East Germans began flocking to the checkpoints along the wall.

They were met by bewildered border guards, struggling to understand what their instructions were regarding this new policy. At around 22:45, overwhelmed by the sheer number of people arriving and lacking any clear orders, the border guards finally opened the gates and overjoyed East Germans flowed over into West Berlin. [BBC]

Berlin; East Germany Berlin Wall
1989 18 Dec - 1990 2 Jan West Berlin Bahá'í communities were joined by 26 Bahá'ís from six European countries and the United States in proclamation and teaching activities among East Germans. [BINS215:2]
  • More than 50,000 copies of a shortened version of the Peace Statement and other Bahá'í materials were distributed at four major border checkpoints in West Berlin and at the Brandenburg Gate. [BINS215:2]
  • Berlin; Germany Promise of World Peace (statement); Teaching
    1994 Jul 20 – 25 The European Bahá'í Youth Council sponsored five regional ‘Shaping Europe' conferences, in Berlin, Bucharest, St Petersburg, Barcelona and Wolverhampton, United Kingdom. [BINS323:3–5; BW94–5:177–8, 189] Berlin; Germany; Bucharest; Romania; St Petersburg; Russia; Barcelona; Portugal; Wolverhampton; United Kingdom; Europe Conferences, Bahai; Conferences, Youth; Conferences, International; Youth

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    from the Main Catalogue

    1. Additional Tablets, Extracts and Talks, by Abdu'l-Bahá (2018/2023). 167 selections, updated August 2023. [about]
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