Russia loses race to lead ITU

Russia loses race to lead ITU

Member states of the International Telecommunication Union elected US representative Doreen Bogdan-Martin as its next secretary-general, beating Russia’s Rashid Ismailov.

In a statement, the ITU detailed that Bogdan-Martin secured 139 votes from the 89-majority required from 172 member states, and Ismailov received 25 votes.  

Bogdan-Martin is currently the director of the agency's Telecommunication Development Bureau. She will replace China's Houlin Zhao who has led the UN agency since 2014 and will be the first woman to lead the ITU since its establishment in 1865, when she begins her four-year term on January 1 next year.

The ITU said in its statement, ​the US government endorsed Bogdan-Martin to drive digital inclusiveness, especially in developing countries.

Bogdan-Martin said: “The world is facing significant challenges – escalating conflicts, a climate crisis, food security, gender inequalities, and 2.7 billion people with no access to the Internet. I believe we, the ITU and our members, have an opportunity to make a transformational contribution. Continuous innovation can and will be a key enabler to facilitate resolution of many of these issues."

US president Joe Biden said in his endorsement of Bogdan-Martin, that she “possesses the integrity, experience, and vision necessary to transform the digital landscape."

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