The Inter-American Telecommunication Commission (CITEL) is an entity of the Organization of American States established by the General Assembly in its resolution AG/RES. 1224 (XXIII-O/93), in keeping with Article 52 of the Charter of the Organization. CITEL has technical autonomy in the performance of its functions, within the limits of the Charter of the Organization, the Statute of CITEL, and such mandates as the General Assembly of the Organization may assign to it.
The member states of the Organization of American States (OAS) have undertaken to unote efforts to promote and achieve economic and social development with equity. They have also recognized the vital role of telecommunications as a tool to achieve that objective. They have thus placed special emphasis on the need to consolidate and promote telecommunication modernization and coordination in the region. (OAS Charter, Articles 30 and 41).
Contributing to the region's economic and social development is the objective of all elements of the work of CITEL, whether it is coordinating the rules needed to facilitate infrastructure deployment and telecommunication service delivery; harmonization of the radio frequency spectrum to reduce the cost of providing wireless services; information and communication technology (ICT) training; or helping countries devise telecommunication development strategies.
Objectives of CITEL
- To facilitate and promote, by all means available to it, the continuing development of telecommunications/information and communication technologies (ICT) (hereinafter telecommunications/ICT) in the Hemisphere, in pursuance of sustainable development.
- To promote and foster the existence of appropriate telecommunications/ICT that contribute to the integral development process in the region, with particular attention to underserved areas.
- To organize promote, and evaluate the periodic holding of meetings of technicians and experts to study planning, financing, construction, operation, standardization, technical assistance, maintenance, and other matters related to the use and development of telecommunications/ICT in the Americas.
- To promote the unification of criteria and technical standards for the installation, operation, and maintenance of systems, in order to obtain maximum benefit from the facilities available to each country and to the region in general, in the global standardization framework of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and other relevant standardization organizations.
- To promote and study technical assistance, in agreement with the governments of the respective countries, giving priority to the needs of developing countries.
- To foster the improvement and harmonization of administrative, financial, and operational procedures for the planning, installation, improvement, maintenance, and operation of the telecommunication networks of the Member States of CITEL, within the framework of the recommendations of the ITU, as well as of other international and regional organizations, that promote widespread access to services, the use of new technologies, job creation , and the deployment of infrastructure in underserved areas.
- To recommend studies and promote the adoption of official agreements among governments of member states of the Organization for the planning, installation, maintenance, and operation of telecommunication systems in the Hemisphere.
- To promote and encourage the study and dissemination of problems related to the impact of telecommunications on the environment and climate change and their relationship to ICT, in keeping with policies developed by the ITU and other organizations with competence in this area.
Functions of CITEL
- To serve as the Organization’s leading advisory body in all matters relating to telecommunications/ICT in the Hemisphere.
- To promote or undertake studies and programs for the orderly development of telecommunications/ICT networks, utilizing the most suitable and efficient systems available.
- To maintain ongoing contact with the various international governmental and nongovernmental organizations in the field of telecommunications/ICT, and to promote the coordination of their activities with those of the member states of the Organization.
- To request the cooperation of world or regional governmental organizations, especially the ITU and the Caribbean Telecommunications Union, and of international entities working in the field of telecommunications/ICT that enjoy consultative status with the United Nations or maintain cooperative relations with the Organization.
- To analyze and propose different forms of financing to support the plans and projects of CITEL.
- To compile and disseminate among the Member States of CITEL information pertaining to the fulfillment of its objectives, as well as any other information that may be of interest, including the evaluation of those results.
- To study the policy and regulatory aspects of telecommunications/ICT at the regional level.
- To study legal issues related to direct satellite transmissions, in order to prepare draft inter-American agreements on that subject and formulate uniform position thereon for adoption by the Member States of CITEL before the relevant international organizations.
- To prepare studies on public policies in the area of telecommunications/ICT.
- To make recommendations in the area of telecommunications/ICT to the governments of the Member States of CITEL, taking into account those made by the ITU and by other relevant organizations.
- To promote research and technological development in the field of telecommunications/ICT.
- To consider any other matters related to inter-American cooperation in the field of telecommunications/ICT assigned to it by the General Assembly or the Councils of the Organization.
- To promote the development of new applications that promote the inclusion of the region’s countries in the Knowledge-based society.
- To review and assess the effectiveness of technical cooperation with the ITU and other regional and international organizations on an ongoing basis.
- To develop mechanisms for full participation by all Member States in the meetings of CITEL, and to increase the number of associate members of the Committees of CITEL.