The APT's 45-Year Journey towards a Connected Future

In 2024, the Asia-Pacific Telecommunity (APT) is celebrating its 45th anniversary, which marks a significant milestone in fostering regional cooperation and development in the field of telecommunications. Since its establishment in 1979, the APT has played a vital role in promoting information and communication technologies (ICT) across the diverse Asia-Pacific region.

Message from

the Secretary General

of the APT

Dear Esteemed Members and Stakeholders,

It is with a spirit of profound reverence and thankfulness that we commemorate the 45th anniversary of the Asia-Pacific Telecommunity (APT). This milestone is not merely a testament to the longevity of our organization but stands as a celebration of our collaborative odyssey—an enduring partnership that has significantly influenced the Information and Communication Technology landscape across the Asia-Pacific region.

From our establishment in the year 1979, APT has remained at the vanguard of fostering regional cooperation and has been instrumental in pioneering groundbreaking advancements in the realm of ICT. The bygone four decades have seen a renaissance in technological innovation that has indelibly transformed the societal and economic fabric of our times. It is through our concerted initiatives that the framework of connectivity and the concept of digital inclusion have flourished in our diverse region.

As we take this opportunity to look back upon our history, it becomes imperative to express our deep appreciation for the enduring dedication of our members, and all stakeholders. Your unflagging commitment to the ethos and objectives of APT has been the foundation of our numerous accomplishments, propelling us ahead through times of unparalleled challenge and change.

In tribute to our 45-year legacy, we launch a special webpage to exhibit the seminal moments of our shared journey. This digital commemoration not only highlights our collective achievements but also paves the way for the aspirations that beckon us into the future of APT. I am delighted to invite you to peruse this virtual celebration and join in the homage to this significant juncture.

In the spirit of our anniversary, let us rededicate ourselves to the pursuit of realizing APT's vision—a vision where connectivity weaves the fabric of prosperity throughout the Asia-Pacific. Together, let us continue to champion innovation, foster collaboration, and serve as beacons of inspiration. As we embrace the evolving intricacies of the digital era, we remain united in our quest to illuminate the path toward a more radiant future for our community.

As we stand on the cusp of a new chapter in our journey, I extend my most sincere gratitude to each one of you. Your contributions and unwavering support have been indispensable to the mission of APT. Here’s to 45 years of achievements, milestones, and memories —and to the many more chapters of success and prosperity ahead.

With warmest regards and in shared celebration,

Masanori Kondo

Secretary General

Asia-Pacific Telecommunity (APT)


The Establishment

The Asia-Pacific Telecommunity (“APT” or “Telecommunity”) was founded by the joint initiatives of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). In the early 1970s, ESCAP member countries (also Member States of the ITU) discussed the need to establish a consultative organization within the ESCAP region for determining telecommunication matters, which were susceptible to being treated on a regional basis. It also recognized the need for permanent machinery to correlate planning within the region. For the ITU, the creation of a regional organization to settle telecommunication questions which are susceptible to being treated on a regional basis was recognized in Article 32 of the International Telecommunication Convention (Málaga-Torremolinos, 1973). At the 32nd Session of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific from 24 March to 2 April 1976, the Commission adopted resolution 163(XXXII) on the “Establishment of the Asia-Pacific Telecommunity”, which inter alia adopted the Constitution of the Asia-Pacific Telecommunity on 27 March 1976. The word “Telecommunity” reflects how the APT, from the beginning, has been a community of governments, telecom service providers, manufacturers of telecom equipment, research and development organizations and other stakeholders active in the field of telecom and ICT. The APT is the Telecommunity in a real sense.

The Constitution

The Constitution of the Asia-Pacific Telecommunity was adopted on 27 March 1976 by resolution 163 (XXXII) of the ESACP at its thirty-second session, which took place in Bangkok, Thailand, from 24 March 1976 to 2 April 1976. The Constitution was opened for signature in Bangkok from 1 April 1976 to 31 October 1976 and at the Headquarters of the United Nations in New York from 1 November 1976 to 24 February 1979. The Constitution of the Asia-Pacific Telecommunity came into force on 25 February 1979, i.e., the thirtieth day after the deposit of the instruments of ratification or acceptance with the Secretary-General of the United Nations by seven signatory States that are eligible for membership in the Telecommunity under paragraph 2 of article 3, including Thailand, the country in which the headquarters of the Telecommunity is located, in accordance with article 18. The APT was established since then.

Over the years, there have been amendments to the Constitution of the APT including the amendments to Article 11, paragraph 2 (a) in 1981, which came into force on 2 January 1985, and the amendments to Article 3 (5) and Article 9 (8) in 1991 which entered into force on 16 March 2000. In 2002, the Constitution of the APT was revised to enhance efficiency and accommodate the needs of the organization, particularly in keeping with a view of future requirements. The revised Constitution of the APT was adopted by the 9th Session of the General Assembly of the APT in 2002 and came into force on 2 August 2007.

APT Headquarters

The APT started its operations in the United Nations Building, with all the necessary facilities provided by the Chief of Transport and Communications Division, ESCAP. The new venue for the APT was established on 1 July 1979 in Bangkok’s General Post Office headquarters on Charoen Krung Road. The APT Secretariat has been functioning since then. On 6 October 1986, the APT Secretariat moved to the new building on Chaeng Watthana Road, Bangkok. Thanks to the contributions from the Government of Thailand and other Member Administrations, the building was completed and contained offices and a library. The Inaugural Ceremony of the new APT building was on 22 November 1987. H.E. Mr. Banharn Silpa-archa, Minister for Communications of the Royal Government of Thailand, presided over the inaugural ceremony.

A conference hall was added later in 1987. The inaugural ceremony of the new APT Conference Room was presided over by H.E. Mr. Montri Phongpanich, Minister for Communications of the Royal Government of Thailand.


45-Year Milestone and Success

Celebrating 45 Years of Success: The Asia-Pacific Telecommunity's Journey

For the past 45 years, the Asia-Pacific Telecommunity (APT) has been at the forefront of driving telecommunications and information and communication technology (ICT) development across the Asia-Pacific region. Through its commitment to fostering collaboration, innovation, and inclusivity, the APT has achieved numerous milestones and successes, contributing significantly to the region's growth and digital transformation.

Organizing Meetings and Facilitating Dialogue:

One of the key pillars of APT's success lies in its ability to bring together stakeholders from governments, industry, academia, and civil society through its diverse range of meetings, conferences, and workshops. These gatherings serve as platforms for dialogue, knowledge sharing, and consensus-building on key telecommunications and ICT issues, leading to the development of policies, regulations, and strategies that promote connectivity, innovation, and digital inclusion across the region.

Capacity Building and Skills Development:

APT's commitment to capacity building and skills development has played a pivotal role in enhancing the technical expertise and capabilities of telecommunications professionals and policymakers across the Asia-Pacific region. Through its comprehensive training programmes, expert missions, and scholarship programmes, the APT has empowered individuals and institutions with the knowledge and skills needed to leverage emerging technologies, address regulatory challenges, and drive ICT innovation in their respective countries.

Advancing ICT Development:

Over the past four and a half decades, the APT has been instrumental in advancing ICT development in the Asia-Pacific region through many projects, fostering the deployment and adoption of cutting-edge technologies such as broadband, mobile communications, and digital services. Through its collaborative initiatives, the APT has promoted policy and regulatory frameworks that support investment in ICT infrastructure, fostered innovation ecosystems, and facilitated cross-border connectivity, thereby bridging the digital divide and promoting social and economic development.


Next Chapter of the APT

The Strategic Plan 2024-2026 sets forth a comprehensive vision for the future direction of the Asia-Pacific Telecommunity (APT), outlining key priorities, strategic objectives, and initiatives aimed at advancing telecommunications and information and communication technology (ICT) development in the Asia-Pacific region. Key elements of the future direction outlined in the strategic plan include:

Digital Connectivity: The APT will assist members to enhance universal and meaningful connectivity (including broadband connectivity) by improving accessibility, availability, affordability, and spectrum management, especially in unserved and underserved areas , to support sustainable growth in the region.

Digital Transformation: The APT will focus on leveraging emerging technologies to drive innovation, economic growth, and societal development in the Asia-Pacific region. This involves promoting the adoption and deployment of these technologies across various sectors, fostering an enabling regulatory environment, and supporting capacity building initiatives to enhance technical expertise and skills in emerging technologies.

Trust and Safety: Given the potential harm caused by cyberbullying, malicious cyber activities, and natural disasters, the APT aims to support citizens and members in developing and maintaining secure, trusted, and resilient telecommunication/ICT network services. This includes addressing challenges related to disaster preparedness, risk reduction, and mitigation.

Digital Inclusion: The APT will prioritize initiatives aimed at promoting digital literacy and skills development, and ensuring that all segments of society, including women, youth, persons with disabilities, and marginalized communities, have equitable access to telecommunications and ICT services.

Sustainability: The APT will assist members to promote careers and participation in the telecommunication/ICT sector through policies and programmes. This involves promoting sustainable practices in the deployment that leverage ICT for environmental conservation and climate action.

The APT will continue to serve as a platform for dialogue, knowledge sharing, and partnership building among member states, industry stakeholders, and other relevant actors in the Asia-Pacific region. This involves facilitating the exchange of best practices, promoting policy dialogue and consensus-building on key telecommunications and ICT issues, and fostering partnerships with regional and international organizations to address common challenges and pursue shared objectives.

APT Secretariat Team