• Issue: July 1965
  • Designer: Z. Menusy
  • Plate no.: 149
  • Method of printing: Photogravure

Telecommunication is the process of using signals, voices or pictures for the transmission of information. The transmitted information is used for the effective execution of various services, such as telegraph, telephone, telex, facsimile, broadcasting, television, navigation, remote control, telemetric measurements, etc.

The International Telecommunications Union was the first of the inter-governmental organizations which today are special agencies of the United Nations. Founded in 1865 in Paris, its original name was The International Telegraph Union. The telegraph, invented in the 19th century, spread throughout Europe; the International Union set out to coordinate communication between the major cities of the continent.

The telephone, invented some years later, was also adopted by the Union. The first regulations dealing with international telephone service were formulated during the 1895 convention of the Union in Berlin. The transmission of signals by telegraph and of voices by telephone was followed by wireless broadcasting. In 1906 the first international treaty relating to wireless telegraph was signed in Berlin.

Thus the foundations were laid for the present situation. In 1932 the International treaties for telephone and telegraph were combined with the treaty for wireless telegraph. During that year a convention was held at which the Union's present name was decided upon. The supreme authority of the Union is the General Assembly which meets about every five years. The convention in 1965 marked the Union's centenary.

In addition to the General Assembly the Union holds worldwide and regional conventions dealing with its specific administrative and professional problems.

The management of the Union's affairs between the General Assemblies is in the hands of the Administrative Board, the number and choice of whom is determined by the General Assembly.

Routine activities are carried out by the permanent bodies of the Union: the General Secretariat; the International Council for Registration of Wavelengths; the International Council for Telephone and Telegraph; and the International Council for Radio. The constitution of the Union consists of a treaty and a series of by-laws for telegraph, telephone and radio.

In 1965 the Union numbered 126 member-states. Israel joined in 1949. The aim of the Union is the maintenance and expansion of international cooperation to further the development of telecommunication and its manifold services, to improve these services, to increase their efficiency and make them more readily available to people all over the world.

The Union and its institutions serve as the center for the most advanced technical knowledge of the member-states. This knowledge is used for compounding patterns, standards and recommendations for the various spheres of telecommunication, which anticipate future developments, and are a basis for the development of telecommunication among all nations.

These endeavors have transcended to the needs of astronomy and space research; as well as of control, navigation and communication with satellites and other interplanetary vehicles.

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100 Years International Telecommunications Union