ITU Plenipotentiary Conference, Nairobi


Zaire - stamp ITU Plenipotentiary Conference, Nairobi 1982The Plenipotentiary Conference held in October-November 1982 in Nairobi was the first of its kind in Africa. Important decisions were a revision of the ITU Convention and the establishment of the Independent Commission for Worldwide Telecommunications Development.


The task of this independent commission was "to study the problems related to the global development of telecommunications". The conference instructed it to evaluate how to "reduce the insufferable gap between developed and developing countries in terms of telecommunications".


ITU calling card for the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference, Nairobi 1982Chaired by Donald Maitland, this commission submitted its report in 1984 to the Secretary General Richard Butler, with the evocative title of The Missing Link. It was immediately adopted by the OAU, the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the ITU. For the latter, it reflected both an involvement and a plan of action. One of its clauses stipulated that "at the beginning of the next century, the whole mankind would be within easy reach of a telephone" and indicated that, for the Developing Countries, "no human being should be more than one hour away from an easy reach of a telephone".




The text of the Convention after the Nairobi Conference as published in the Australian Treaty Series.



Stamp Catalogue


Benin                                                  26 September 1982

Niger                                                  28 September 1982

Tunisia                                                1 October 1982

Union of Soviet Socialist Republics        19 May 1982









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last revised: 7 February 2008