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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
1874. 9 Oct Headquartered in Bern, Switzerland, the General Postal Union was established when 22 countries signed the Treaty of Bern on this day in 1874. The organization was formed with the intent of unifying the multitude of international postal services into a single postal territory and establishing regulations for international mail exchanges. In 1878, the group's name was changed to the Universal Postal Union to reflect its fast-growing global membership. Today, the UPU has expanded to 192 member countries and not only sets the guidelines for international mail exchanges, but also serves to advise, mediate, and act as a liaison in postal matters, making recommendations for growth and providing technical assistance as needed.

The Universal Postal Congress it held every four years. The 28th Universal Postal Congress will be held in 2025 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Four Extraordinary Congresses have been held to date. The last one was held in Saudi Arabia in 2023 to examine proposals associated with the further opening up of the Union to wider postal sector players, as well as other urgent postal sector issues.

The Universal Postal Union became a specialized agency of the United Nations on 1 July 1948. As such, the UPU contributes to the development of UN policies and activities that have a direct link with its mandate and missions to promote social and economic the world's second oldest international organization. [UPU website]

Bern; Switzerland; Dubai, United Arab Emirates United Nations; International relations; International Standards "></i>; </i> "></i>;
1910. 18 - 29 May The Paris International Air Navigation Conference of 1910, also known as the Conférence internationale de navigation aérienne, was the first diplomatic conference to consider formulating international aviation law. It was proposed by the French government who were concerned about aircraft from foreign nations flying over their territory and was attended by representatives from 19 European nations. The conference went into recess in June 1910 but did not reconvene due to differences of opinion and then later the outbreak of the First World War. Hence, no agreement was signed. Its deliberations, however, influenced the development of international aviation law.

For obvious reasons, the treatment of aviation matters was a subject at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919. The conference was the first political effort to develop the doctrines of international law relating to aerial navigation. Delegates disagreed about the right of foreign aircraft to fly over national territory. It was resolved to create an Aeronautical Commission charged to prepare a convention on international aerial navigation. The result was the creation of the International Commission for Air Navigation under the authority of the League of Nations. This Paris Convention was the first successful attempt at common regulation of international air navigation and laid the foundations of air law.

A proposal was formally taken up by France and submitted to the other principal Allied powers who received it favourably. This action then resulted in the drawing up of the International Air Convention, which was signed by 26 of the 32 Allied and Associated powers represented at the Paris Peace Conference and was ultimately ratified by 38 States. It should be noted that this Convention took over all the principles that had already been formulated by the Conference that had been held in 1910 in Paris. The Convention was ultimately in force for thirty-three States by 1940.

The U.S. government extended an invitation to 55 States to attend an International Civil Aviation Conference in Chicago in 1944. Known then and today more commonly as the ‘Chicago Convention', this landmark agreement laid the foundation for the standards and procedures for peaceful global air navigation. It set out as its prime objective the development of international civil aviation "…in a safe and orderly manner", and such that air transport services would be established "on the basis of equality of opportunity and operated soundly and economically." On 4 April 1947, upon sufficient ratifications to the Chicago Convention, the International Civil Aviation Authority came into being. The first official ICAO Assembly was held in Montreal in May of that year. On 3 October 1947 the ICAO became a UN specialized agency.

Today the ICAO has 193 Members States with headquarters located in the Quartier international de Montréal of Montreal, Quebec, Canada with seven Regional Offices throughout the world. [Chicago Convention; 1919 Paris Convention; ICAO website]

Paris, France; Chicago, USA; Montreal, Canada United Nations; International relations; International Standards

from the main catalogue

  1. Bahá'í Approach to Cosmopolitan Ideas in International Relations, The, by Nalinie N. Mooten (2005). On Western cosmopolitan thought from its infancy to the present day and on a Bahá’í cosmopolitan model to International Relations (IR), which reinforces ideas based on essential oneness. [about]
  2. Bahá'í Approach to Cosmopolitan Ideas in International Relations, The, by Nalinie N. Mooten (2006-11-14). A Bahá’í approach to the cosmopolitan tradition in International Relations theory; contributions the Bahá’í model can offer to this growing tradition; cosmopolitanism as articulated by the Cynics in ancient Greece and by Enlightenment philosophies. [about]
  3. Bahá'í Contribution to Cosmopolitan International Relations Theory, The, by Nalinie N. Mooten, in Online Journal of Bahá'í Studies, 1 (2007). Bahá’í concepts of global governance, unity in diversity, and ethical reform as contributions to a cosmopolitan International Relations theory. [about]
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