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Houlin Zhao Re-Elected As ITU Secretary-General By Member States

Houlin Zhao, Secretary-General of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). Photograph courtesy of the ITU.

Member States of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) have re-elected Houlin Zhao of China as ITU Secretary-General during the Union’s 20th Plenipotentiary Conference (PP-18) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

The election took place in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, during the Plenary session of the PP-18 conference this morning. Zhao won the position with 176 votes, from 178 ballot papers deposited. He contested the position unopposed. Full election results are available here.

Mr Zhao, an information and communication technology (ICT) engineer who has served in a variety of senior management positions at ITU, will begin his second, and last, four-year term on 1 January 2019.

“We continue to connect the unconnected,” says Zhao. “We are strengthening partnerships to implement our common vision of a connected world, where information and communication technology is a source for good for everyone everywhere.”

Prior to first being elected as ITU Secretary General in 2014, Zhao served eight years as ITU Deputy Secretary-General. He also served two elected terms as Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (TSB), which develops technical standards to ensure worldwide ICT interoperability. Before that, he was a Senior Counsellor with TSB for 12 years.

“Since being elected Secretary-General of ITU in 2015, Houlin Zhao has attained marked achievements in overcoming the challenges that ITU faces in advancing its work and activities by way of promoting reform and innovation,” said Wei Miao, Minister of Industry and Information Technology of the People’s Republic of China in putting forward Zhao for re-election as ITU Secretary-General. “His pragmatism and spirit of teamwork has been widely recognized. We are confident that Mr Zhao will undoubtedly … continue to lead ITU in playing an even more important role in the worldwide development of information and communication technologies.”

Electing ITU’s other top leaders

The ITU Plenipotentiary Conference election process also includes the posts of ITU Deputy Secretary-General, Director of ITU’s Radiocommunication Bureau, Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization Bureau and Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau.

These elections will be followed by elections for the Radio Regulations Board and ITU Council, the governing body which oversees the running of ITU between quadrennial Plenipotentiary Conferences.

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