As ITU sets the course for the future, furnished with an expanded mandate
aimed at building an Information Society and realizing the full potential of ICT
for all, the Plenipotentiary Conference in Antalya (PP-06) will be electing the
leadership at the helm of the Union.
Following current practice, and unlike
other UN agencies, the conference elects five officials: the Secretary-General
and Deputy Secretary-General as well as the Directors of the three bureaux: the
Radiocommunication Bureau (BR), the Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (TSB),
and the Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT). In a major departure from
previous practice, candidacies to the posts were closed a month ahead of the
elections, on 9 October, bringing a new paradigm to the voting process by
preventing last-minute trade-offs. While this new procedure brings greater
transparency to the campaigns, it also impacts the way alliances are made and
Until 1989, the Secretary-General and Deputy
Secretary-General were elected by the Plenipotentiary and the Directors of what
is now the Radiocommunication Bureau and the Telecommunication Standardization
Bureau were elected by the Plenary Assemblies of their respective sectors. The
Telecommunication Development Bureau was created by a decision of the 1989
Plenipotentiary Conference and the first Director was therefore elected at the
following Plenipotentiary Conference held in 1992. At PP-06, some proposals
recommend restoring the pre-1989 practice of electing the Secretary-General and
Deputy Secretary-General by the Plenipotentiary, while the three Directors would
be elected by the Radiocommunication Assembly for the Director of BR, the World
Telecommunication Standardization Assembly for the Director of TSB and the World
Telecommunication Development Conference for the Director of BDT. Others have
suggested doing away with the federal structure of elected Directors and to
elect only the Secretary-General and Deputy Secretary-General.
process will begin on Thursday, 9 November, with the election of the
Candidates to posts of elected officials
Outgoing Secretary-General Mr Yoshio Utsumi, who has served two full terms
since he was elected in 1998, will be leaving behind a strong legacy — and a
stiff challenge to the new incumbent. The future Secretary-General will be
decided from among five candidates:
Mr Roberto Blois (Brazil) from Region A —
Mr Marc Furrer (Switzerland) and Mr Matthias
Kurth (Germany) from Region B — Western Europe
Mr Montasser Ouaili (Tunisia) and Mr Hamadoun
Touré (Mali) from Region D — Africa;
Ms Muna Nijem (Jordan) from Region E — Asia and
Meet the candidates at
www.itu.int/newsarchive/pp06/elections/ for their biographies
and interviews in which they outline their agendas.
The Secretary-General coordinates the Union's
activities and is responsible for the overall management of the Union's
resources. The Secretary-General is assisted by the Deputy Secretary-General
to whom some of the functions assigned to the Secretary-General are
The Director of BR is responsible for the
coordination of the work of the Sector. On the basis of the experience
gained in the day-to-day application of the Radio Regulations, he prepares,
for consideration by the Member States and further approval by the Radio
Regulations Board, new Rules of Procedure to cater for situations where
problems could not be solved by the application of existing rules and
submits cases of unfavourable findings challenged by a country to the Board
for review. He also acts as Executive Secretary to the Radio Regulations
The Director of TSB is responsible for regularly
updating the work programme of the Sector approved by world
telecommunication standardization assemblies, in consultation with the
chairmen of the ITU-T study groups and the Telecommunication Standardization
Advisory Group. He/she coordinates the work of the sector, organizes and
coordinates the approval process of ITU-T standards and disseminates data
from members needed to ensure efficient day-to-day operation of
telecommunication services. It is also his/her responsibility to act as
registrar for value-added services such as universal international freephone
numbers (UIFN), universal international premium rate numbers (UIPRN) and
international shared cost numbers (ISCN).
The BDT Director works in partnership with the
Union’s other Sectors to strengthen its catalytic role in telecommunication
development and offers advice on national and regional telecommunication
problems, taking into account economic factors when a comparison of
technical alternatives is involved. He/she coordinates the work of the
sector and publishes information which can help developing countries to
improve their telecommunication networks.
Candidates for the post of Deputy Secretary-General are:
Mr T.A. Beydogan (Turkey) and Mr C. Sánchez (Spain) – Region B (Western
Mr J.R. Kwabena Tandoh (Ghana) – Region D (Africa) and
Mr H. Zhao (China) - Region E (Asia-Australasia).
Candidates for Director, Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, are:
Mr F. Bigi (Italy) and Mr M. Johnson (United Kingdom) – Region B (Western
Mr Y. Inoue (Japan) and Mr K. Park (Korea, Republic of) – Region E
Candidates for Director, Telecommunication Development Bureau, are:
Mr A.K. Boussaid (Algeria), Mr P.F. Masambu (Uganda) and Ms N. Rochdi
(Morocco) – Region D (Africa)
Mr S. Al Basheer (Saudi Arabia) – Region E (Asia-Australasia).
Mr V. Timofeev (Russian Federation, Region C – Eastern Europe and Northern
Asia) is the sole candidate for the post of Director of the Radiocommunication
The Conference will also elect the Member States of the Council and the
members of the Radio Regulations Board.
The ITU Council, which currently comprises of 46 Member States, acts on
behalf of the Plenipotentiary to consider broad telecommunication policy issues
to ensure that the Union’s activities, policies and strategies fully respond to
today’s dynamic, rapidly changing telecommunication environment. It also
prepares the ITU strategic plan.
In addition, the Council is responsible for ensuring the smooth day-to-day
running of the Union, coordinating work programmes, approving budgets and
controlling finances and expenditure.
Finally, the Council takes all steps to
facilitate the implementation of the provisions of the ITU Constitution, the ITU
Convention, the Administrative Regulations (International Telecommunication
Regulations and Radio Regulations), decisions of plenipotentiary conferences and
those of other conferences and meetings of the Union.
The Radio Regulations
Board (RRB) is a part-time body comprising 12 members representing the world’s
five regions (Americas, Western Europe, Eastern Europe and Northern Asia,
Africa, and Asia/Australasia).
It is the Board’s job to approve the rules of procedures in application of
the Radio Regulations, including those related to the assignment and utilization
of frequencies and the use of the satellite orbits. It also provides advice to
radiocommunication conferences and radiocommunication assemblies.
The right to vote
ITU’s 191 Member States have to have their credentials that confer full
powers to represent their government, by the Head of State/Government or the
Minister for Foreign Affairs in order to be authorized to sign the Final Acts or
vote. They must also meet the criteria of having deposited an instrument of
ratification, acceptance or approval or an instrument of accession of the ITU
Constitution and Convention as well as not having any arrears in their payment
of contributions of more than two years. As of 6 November 2006, 21 Member States
were not entitled to vote.
The Credentials Committee is assigned to review the credentials for the
approval of the Plenary meeting.
In the past, elections have customarily been held in the second week of the
Conference — which ran for a period of four weeks. Now that the duration of the
2006 Plenipotentiary Conference has been reduced to three weeks, pressure has
mounted to begin the election process in the first week. This has entailed an
earlier review of credentials. Because this could have become an issue for those
countries whose Instruments were not in order and who may not have had adequate
time to redress the situation before the Credentials Report would have submitted
to the Plenary in time for the elections, the Conference decided to authore all
countries, which otherwise meet the other criteria, to vote without
consideration of whether their credentials are in order. This decision was based
on a provision of the Convention which states that pending the decision of the
Plenary Meeting on the report of the Credentials Committee, any delegation is
entitled to participate in the conference and to exercise the right to vote of
the Member State concerned.
Elections to the ITU posts are held by secret ballot. Elections are carried
out in three stages: first, the election of the Secretary-General followed by
the election of the Deputy Secretary-General and then the election of the
Directors of the three Bureaux.
If no candidate obtains the necessary majority in the first ballot, then one
or (if required) two further ballots will be held after successive intervals of
at least six hours from the announcement of the results, unless otherwise
decided by the Conference.
If, after the third ballot, no candidate has
obtained the necessary majority of votes, then following an interval of at least
twelve hours a fourth ballot would be held for the two candidates who secured
the largest number of votes at the third ballot. Again the time between the two
ballots can be modified by the Conference.
However, if the fourth ballot
results in a tie between the two candidates, the eldest of the candidates still
in contention will be declared elected.
Date of taking of office
The Secretary-General, the Deputy Secretary-General and the Directors of the
Bureaux take up their duties on the dates determined by the Plenipotentiary
Conference at the time of their election and remain in office until dates
determined by the following Plenipotentiary Conference. Under the current rules,
they are eligible for re-election only once in any given post. A proposal has
now been tabled to limit the terms of elected officials to a maximum of two in
any office, which means no individual is eligible for -reelection more than once
(i.e. two terms) irrespective of the post.