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HomeTech NewsUSA prevail against Russia: Doreen Bogdan-Martin is the first ITU boss

USA prevail against Russia: Doreen Bogdan-Martin is the first ITU boss

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More than 150 years after its founding, the International Telecommunication Union has a boss for the first time. Doreen Bogdan-Martin clearly won against Rashid Ismailov.

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The American Doreen Bogdan-Martin was elected the new head of the UN organization with an overwhelming majority at the General Assembly of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). Bogdan-Martin received 139 of the votes cast. Her Russian challenger Rashid Ismailov got the votes of 25 member states. For the first time in the history of the organization founded in 1865, it is now headed by a woman.

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Until recently, some observers had warned that the election of Ismailov could result in greater politicization of the ITU and more Internet regulation. Ismailov himself had declared that he wanted to avoid politicization.

After her election, Bogdan-Martin emphasized that there are different positions in the ITU on technical issues. “But we all agree that we will expend every bit of energy to connect those who are still without a network,” said Bogdan-Martin, who has headed the Telecommunication Development Sector (ITU-D) for four years. There was also agreement on reforms to make the ITU more transparent and effective.

In her candidacy, which was supported by the US government, the American was able to refer to her experience from the ITU-D and her work within the ITU for more than 20 years. Bogdan-Martin said she had been working towards this moment for more than 20 years. The crisis situation after the pandemic is an opportunity for the old telecommunications union, because the telecommunications sector is constantly being renewed and, as the pandemic has shown, offers solutions to many pending problems.

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It remains to be seen how Bogdan-Martin will deal with the question of the ITU member states’ potential reach for the Internet. What is certain is that the election of the American will ease the tension between the UN organization and the United States, which has often been tense in recent years. The US delegation had already announced an increase in its own membership fees for the ITU from 30 to 35 financial units (a financial unit is 318,000 Swiss francs).

After Bogdan-Martin, her successor will now be elected for the ITU-D, as well as the Radio Regulation Board responsible for frequency negotiations and the standardization area (ITU-T). The German delegation is also entering a candidate for the latter.


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