ITU elects new Radiocommunication and Development Bureau chiefs

ITU welcomed new Directors of its Radiocommunication and Telecommunication Development Bureaux as François Rancy of France and Brahima Sanou of Burkina Faso were elected at the Plenipotentiary Conference taking place in Guadalajara, Mexico. Rancy won with 90 votes from 157 countries present while Sanou captured 81 votes.

The previous day saw Malcolm Johnson of the United Kingdom re-elected as Director of the Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (TSB). He contested the position unopposed winning the vote with 152 votes.

ITU's Radiocommunication Bureau (BR) plays a key role in global communications managing the distribution of international frequency spectrum and the allocation of satellite orbits. Rancy will face challenges including the major World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC) scheduled for 2012. WRC 2012 will tackle issues including a review of the international framework for radiocomunication, the identification of appropriate mechanisms to address the so-called digital dividend of radio spectrum freed up by the switch to digital TV, the identification of spectrum resources for maritime, aeronautical, meteorological and climatology.

In his acceptance speech he thanked Member States for their support and pledged to tackle the challenges of the next four years. "Rest assured that I'll do my best to meet your expectations in electing me today. I know that many of our countries will have very difficult choices in the field of radiocommunications and you can be sure that I will do my best, in particular with the transition to digital television and next generation mobile. These are not only technical challenges but social and economic and the Union has a strong role to play in this."

BDT's activities aim at extending the right to communicate to all inhabitants of the planet through access to infrastructure and information and communication services. It focuses on capacity building, promoting the use of ICTs as a tool for development and promoting activities aimed at reducing the digital divide.

On his election as Director, Sanou pledged to maintain the team spirit that has characterized the operation of BDT and underlined his commitment to implement the Hyderabad Action Plan adopted recently by the World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC). "The expansion of ICT access and an emphasis on developing affordable broadband Internet infrastructure and services is needed to bring the wonders of the digital revolution to the whole world. I am committed to working with ITU members to meet this lofty aim. We will connect the world."

Johnson, who has led the Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (TSB) for four successful years, said on his re-election: "I express enormous gratitude for this vote of confidence in my continued leadership of the standardization sector of ITU. I look forward to building on the initiatives of the past four years and maintaining ITU-T's role as the leading global organization for ICT standardization. As technologies evolve we will meet the demand to quickly produce the global standards that the ICT market needs. I am confident that with the new initiatives to increase participation of researchers and developing countries we will strengthen ITU-T's position and its major initiatives on broadband, ICTs and climate change, accessibility, cybersecurity and interoperability."

Speaking after the election the Secretary-General, Dr Hamadoun Touré expressed his happiness with the results and welcomed the new members of his team. He said he looked forward to working with them over the next four years and expressed his gratitude to the outgoing Directors of the Radiocommunication Bureau, Valery Timofeev and the Telecommunication Development Bureau, Sami Al Basheer and thanked them for their assistance and support over their time served as ITU Directors.

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