Hamadoun Touré Of Mali Elected ITU Secretary-General10/11/2006 by William New, Intellectual Property Watch Leave a CommentShare this Story:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)IP-Watch is a non-profit independent news service, and depends on subscriptions. To access all of our content, please subscribe now. You may also offer additional support with your subscription, or donate.By William New Development and Internet governance issues may have gotten a boost at the United Nations International Telecommunication Union today as members elected Hamadoun Touré of Mali to be the next Secretary-General. Touré has been director of the ITU Telecommunications Development Bureau since 1999.In a third round of voting on 10 November, Touré beat out Matthias Kurth of Germany. Of 155 countries voting, Touré received 95 votes, more than the required majority of 78. Kurth received 60 votes. The election to replace current ITU Secretary-General Yoshio Utsumi was held at the 6-24 November ITU plenipotentiary (quadrennial) meeting in Antalya, Turkey.In the second round on 9 November, Touré received the most votes but did not have a majority, leading to the runoff with Kurth on 10 November. In the second round, the other finalists were: Roberto Blois Montes de Souza (Brazil), ITU deputy secretary-general; Marc Furrer (Switzerland), president of the Swiss Federal Communications Commission; and Kurth, who is president of the German Federal Network Agency for Electricity, Gas, Telecommunications, Post and Railway.In the second round, with 156 countries voting, Touré received 72 votes, followed by Kurth with 51, Blois with 24, and Furrer with 9. A total of 173 countries had the right to vote in the elections.Touré also led the voting in the first round, also held on 9 November. In that round, additional candidates Muna Nijem (Jordan), president, chair and CEO of the Jordanian telecommunications regulatory commission; and Montasser Ouaili (Tunisia), Tunisian minister of communication technologies received the fewest votes and were withdrawn.To view the election results and all candidates’ biographies, please see: http://www.itu.int/plenipotentiary/2006/newsroom/elections/index.htmlIn an official interview posted on the ITU website, Touré was quoted as saying he would work to restore morale among ITU staff, improve transparency and accountability, and work to close the gap between those in the world who have access to communications technologies and those who don’t, referred to as the digital divide.Most of the issues related to the digital divide fell within Touré’s Development bureau, the ITU said. In the ITU interview, Touré said he highlighted the importance of civil society and industry in addressing global problems and opportunities. He also seemed to indicate a more political, non-technical stance for the intergovernmental body which has led the World Summit on the Information Society and been seen by some in recent years as trying to make governance of the Internet more international and less United States-centric.“It is true that the summit increased ITU’s visibility,” he said. “We, however, should do more to blow the myth that only those who are experts in technical matters can participate or contribute to the work of the Union.”“ITU is home to all stakeholders because information and communication technologies permeate all the facets of human life and impact everybody, regardless of their status, gender, specialty, or geographical location,” Touré added. “The potential is there and we must build on the agenda set by the summit and ensure that ITU’s actions act as building blocks towards the attainment of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals set by world leaders in 2000.”William New may be reached at email@example.com.[Editor’s Note: IP-Watch subscribers may access a story on the candidates at the recent WSIS Internet Governance Forum in Athens by clicking here.]Share this Story:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Related"Hamadoun Touré Of Mali Elected ITU Secretary-General" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.