Member States of the International Telecommunication Union have elected Dr Hamadoun Touré of Mali as Secretary-General of ITU for a second four-year term. The election took place in Guadalajara, Mexico during the morning Plenary session of the 18th ITU Plenipotentiary Conference. Dr Touré won the position with 151 votes, with 157 countries present and voting. He contested the position unopposed.
Addressing the conference after the vote, Dr Touré told close to 1,500 conference participants from around the world that he will “put a special emphasis on broadband access as well as continuing to ensure that cybersecurity is high on everyone’s agenda.” Dr Touré has also pledged to ensure that small island developing states and land-locked countries get special attention.
ICTs and telecommunications are at the very heart of the Knowledge Societies we are now building, said Dr Touré. His dream, he said, is to ensure that every citizen on the planet can “connect to, use, create and share information, in a safe and affordable manner.” He will encourage more private sector involvement through public-private partnerships, both within ITU and in the field.
Dr Touré was first elected to the post of ITU Secretary-General by ITU’s 2006 Plenipotentiary Conference in Antalya, Turkey. Since taking office, he has placed particular emphasis on building trust and security in ICT networks, harnessing the power of ICTs to help mitigate climate change, strengthening ITU’s work in emergency communications, and fostering a global vision of ‘broadband inclusion for all’.
During the same morning Plenary session, Houlin Zhao of China was re-elected Deputy Secretary-General with 155 votes. No candidate was running against him. In his short address to delegates following his re-election, Mr Zhao thanked ITU Members and, in particular, the People's Republic of China, for placing renewed confidence in him. He said he appreciated the full confidence and respect that the Secretary-General has shown him over the past four years, and promised to continue to do his utmost to assist the Secretary-General and maintain the excellent working relationship they already enjoy during his next four-year term, with a view to strengthening the ITU’s leading role in global ICT development.