Ancient history of e-participation
Updated on 01 March 2023
Almost 50 years ago (7 October 1963), the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) organized the first e-participation session in multilateral diplomacy. The ITU “walked the talk” by opening the first conference on satellite communication with a satellite-facilitated address by U Thant, the UN Secretary-General.
It was an exciting occasion, raising a lot of optimism as U Thant said:
‘We in the United Nations also have an interest in the development of global communication facilities as we will have at our disposal new and efficient means of communication with our Member Governments all over the world.’
What today can be facilitated by Skype for a marginal cost, back in 1963, required a complex technical exercise involving several telecomm companies. What can we expect in another 50 years? Will the modus operandi of diplomacy change? Any takers for a crystal ball exercise