The member states of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) have elected Doreen Bogdan-Martin of the United States as the next Secretary General of the United States. Bogdan-Martin is the first woman to head the ITU, which was founded in 1865 and became a specialized agency of the United Nations in 1947. Russian and rival candidate Rashid Ismailov (backed by Russia) was defeated by Bogdan-Martin with 139 votes out of 172. Bogdan-Martin succeeds China’s Haulin Zhao, who has been in office since 2014, when her term begins on January 1, 2023.
The election took place at the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference (PP-22) in Bucharest, Romania, with member state representatives voting in the morning session of the meeting. Bogdan-Martin won with 139 votes out of 172.
“Whether it’s today’s children or our children’s children, we need to provide them with a foundation for strong and sustainable development,” Bogdan-Martin said. “The world is facing huge challenges: increasing conflicts, the climate crisis, food security, gender inequality and 2.7 billion people without access to the Internet. I believe that we, the ITU and our members, have an opportunity to make a transformative contribution. Continuous innovation will facilitate the solution of many of these problems. will be an important factor.
Bogdan-Martin has held leadership positions in international telecommunications policy for more than two decades. Throughout her career, she has built innovative and visionary partnerships with the private sector, civil society and other United Nations agencies to accelerate digital inclusion and connectivity.
Bogdan-Martin will begin a four-year term as Secretary-General of the ITU on January 1, 2023.
The Secretary-General-elect has pledged to “make the institution innovative, increasingly relevant to our Member States, better positioned to embrace the digital environment and move us all forward towards reaching the UN”. unrelated.”
Inclusive Digital Development
Bogdan-Martin was recognized by his country’s government as a candidate for making the digital future inclusive and accessible to all, especially in developing countries.
US President Joe Biden endorsed her candidacy in a statement on September 20, saying: “Mrs. Bogdan-Martin has the integrity, experience and vision to transform the digital landscape.”
As the lead architect of ITU’s development work in recent years, Bogdan-Martin has emphasized the need for digital transformation to achieve economic prosperity, job creation, skills development, gender equality and socioeconomic inclusion and circular economies. Saves lives. His current term as Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau ends on December 31, 2022.
Among his campaign priorities, he said he would “lead the ITU into a new era of global and regional partnerships” and said the organization must “evolve and sometimes break old ways” to remain relevant.
Electing other high-level leaders of the ITU
At the Plenipotentiary Conference of the ITU, Member States will also elect candidates for the posts of Deputy Secretary-General, Director of the Radiocommunication Bureau, Director of the Telecommunication Standardization Bureau and Director of the Telecommunication Development Bureau.
Voting for ITU senior leadership is followed by elections for the 12-member Radio Regulatory Board and regionally allocated seats on the 48-seat ITU Council, which will govern between the ITU’s four anniversary conferences.