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The world’s digital future
When the members of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) gathered in Seattle in 1999 to launch the new round of global trade negotiations, over 40,000 people representing civil society, trade unions and environmental interests took to the streets to voice their discontent with the direction that global economic governance was taking. Fifteen years later, the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) – a UN body dealing with issues ranging from the global use of the radio spectrum to promoting international cooperation in assigning satellite orbits – is meeting in Busan, Korea (20 October – 7 November) to decide on the future strategic direction of the organisation. Over the next couple of weeks, the Plenipotentiary Conference (PP-14) – the ITU’s highest decision-making body – will discuss the organisation’s role in shaping future information and communications technology (ICT) policies throughout the world.