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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Johnson retains seat, RDB elects new directors @ ITU

As part of the on-going repositioning going on in the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) some new Directors were elected at the Radiocommunication and Telecommunication Development Bureaux, while Mr. Malcolm Johnson was retained as the director of Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (TSB) at the Plenipotentiary Conference taking place in Guadalajara, Mexico.

The new directors include François Rancy of France and Brahima Sanou of Burkina Faso. While Rancy was elected with 90 votes from 157 countries present while Sanou got 81 votes.

Previously Mr. Malcolm Johnson of the United Kingdom was re-elected as Director of the Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (TSB) after contesting unopposed for the position.

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 tend to 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 Rancy commended 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,” he said.

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.

Equally speaking on his election, Sanou promised 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,” he said.

On the other hand, Johnson, who has led the TSB for four successful years, said on his re-election the vote of confidence in his continued leadership of the standardization sector of ITU was an encouraging one.

“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,” he said.

Speaking after the election the Secretary-General, Dr. Hamadoun Touré expressed his happiness with the results and welcomed the new members of his team, saying that they look forward to working together over the next four years.

He lauded 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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