Foreign minister Marise Payne has confirmed Australia will stand for re-election to a United Nations specialised agency — the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) — this month.
The ITU supports global telecommunication networks and services by bringing governments and industry together with mutual goals of efficiency and affordability.
Payne issued a joint statement announcing Australia’s intention to bid for re-election with Paul Fletcher, minister for communications, urban infrastructure, cities and the arts, on Wednesday. In the statement, the foreign minister said that Australia would continue to complete the union’s efforts to build accessible and inclusive global communications.
“Australia’s re-election campaign will focus on our efforts to build global connectivity, particularly in the Pacific and other developing states, by sharing Australia’s domestic experience in improving connectivity in remote locations,” Payne said.
She added that the bid for re-election would reflect Australia’s ‘strong commitment to promoting liberal-democratic values in key international standard-setting organisations like the ITU’.
Fletcher said that Australia’s successful re-election to the union would also support domestic commercial and strategic interests. He also noted that reliable and interconnected global telecommunications and information and communication technology (ICT) brought benefits to Australia’s developing neighbours as well.
“Our region relies on global communications networks every day for business and work, education and entertainment, which is why our continued participation in the ITU is critical to continually improve services throughout the Asia Pacific region,” Fletcher said.
The bid for re-election will be made at the Plenipotentiary Conference in Bucharest, Romania, which kicked off in late September.