Virtual consultation of councillors

9–12 June 2020

For reasons of business continuity amid the unprecedented challenges surrounding the global COVID‑19 pandemic, ITU held a Virtual Consultation of Councillors from 9‑12 June. The Virtual Consultation was held in order to prepare for the physical Council 2020, which has been postponed to a later date to be announced in due course. ITU Council is the member-led governing body that ensures that ITU’s activities, policies and strategies fully respond to today’s rapidly changing telecommunications environment.

“Let us continue the important work of strengthening our Union in this crisis — to help make the world safer, stronger, and more connected.”

Houlin Zhao

ITU Secretary‑General

“2020 is no doubt the year of COVID-19, but let’s work together not to make it the year we halted work. With cooperation of all, the damage will be minimized.”

Saif Bin Ghelaita

Chair of the Virtual consultation of councillors

Virtual Consultation ‘by the numbers’


Delegates attended the meeting on the Interprefy platform




All 48 Council Member States were represented


Observer Member States were represented


Subjects discussed




Conducted in ITU's six offcial languages on the Interprefy platform

Key outcomes of discussions

Councillors discussed 19 urgent items. Below is a sampling of key outcomes of these discussions.

More information can be found here. All outcomes can be found here.

Future ITU events

The Secretary-General will keep Councillors informed over the summer regarding the dates of a physical meeting of Council 2020, should the sanitary condition permit, as well as the dates and format of the second 2020 cluster of Council Working Groups. The proposed dates of Council 2021-2026 and the clusters of Council Working Groups and Expert Groups in 2021 and 2022 will be decided by consultation by correspondence. Councillors proposed postponing the World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA) to 23 February - 5 March 2021, with the final decision to be taken via a consultation by correspondence. The Secretariat proposed that WTPF-21 be postponed to 1-3 June 2022.

World Radiocommunication Conference 2019 follow up

Three items will be subject to a consultation by correspondence: a revision to Decision 482 on the cost recovery for the processing of satellite network filings; support regarding the request made by some Member States on the implementation of Resolution 559 of WRC-19; and the agenda for WRC-2023. Councillors discussed items related to the financial implications from the World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-19) and agreed to propose at the next physical meeting that the Secretary-General be authorized to allocate funds from 2020 annual savings or issue a call for voluntary contributions.

New building

Councillors will continue discussions on the Union’s headquarters premises project highlighted in the MSAG report, notably the Popov room in the basement of the Tower, sponsorships, and the financial risk register. Councillors invited the Secretariat to continue further considerations on the impact of Covid-19 and conduct further investigations on the different sale options of the Tower for the next MSAG meeting and report to the next physical meeting of the Council.

Other items

Discussions on the following items have been postponed to the next physical meeting: the theme for WTISD-21; the appointment of a new external auditor; the new ITU Index; and the support to TSB. Several items were proposed to be approved at the next physical meeting of the Council such as the accounts of ITU Telecom World 2019 and the creation of an independent and dedicated position for an ITU’s investigation function. Additionally, a revised document on the impact of COVID-19 on the functions and activities of ITU should be presented to the next physical meeting of the Council. The Secretary-General was encouraged to continue cooperation with the UN to highlight the important role that ICTs play in the fight against the global pandemic.

Enabling digital transformation

Annual Report 2019‑2020:


About ITU

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is the specialized United Nations agency for information and communication technologies (ICTs), driving innovation in ICTs together with 193 Member States and a membership of over 900 companies, universities, and international and regional organizations. Established 155 years ago in 1865, ITU is the intergovernmental body responsible for coordinating the shared global use of the radio spectrum, promoting international cooperation in assigning satellite orbits, improving communication infrastructure in the developing world, and establishing the worldwide standards that foster seamless interconnection of a vast range of communications systems. From broadband networks to cutting-edge wireless technologies, aeronautical and maritime navigation, radio astronomy, oceanographic and satellite-based earth monitoring as well as converging fixed-mobile phone, Internet and broadcasting technologies, ITU is committed to connecting the world.