Bangladesh re-elected member of ITU council

Bangladesh has been re-elected to the administrative council of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) for 2015-2018.

The election was held yesterday during a plenipotentiary conference of ITU in Busan, South Korea, in which Bangladesh bagged 115 votes and has been elected as the council member from the East Asia and Australasia zone for the next four years.

ITU is an UN body that deals with telecom-related matters aiming to ensure networks and improve access to ICT for underserved communities worldwide.

Bangladesh has been elected in the highly competitive poll along with 12 others. China topped the voting list, followed by Korea, the foreign ministry said in a statement.

Bangladesh won its membership to the ITU Executive Council for the first time in 2010. The tenure is due for expiry in December.

Bangladesh’s successful reelection to the ITU council will give it an opportunity to contribute at global policy levels in the interest of LDCs and developing countries towards greater access to telecoms and digitalisation and reducing the digital divide globally, according to the statement. Bangladesh’s re-election also reaffirms recognition of the government’s globally acclaimed vision of a Digital Bangladesh, a flagship development and poverty reduction priority of the government.

Bangladesh has gone ahead of a number of countries to win this position in the election, which is a testament to global support for Digital Bangladesh vision, Zunaid Ahmed Palak, ICT state minister, told The Daily Star by phone from Busan.

“Through this council membership, Bangladesh will take part in the important decision making processes of the regulatory authorities in this region.”

He said the position at ITU will help Bangladesh in various international matters as the country is going to build submarine cable or is in a process of launching satellite into space.

“The ITU council membership will also create positive branding for the country,” Palak said.

“We are very happy to be elected as an executive member of ITU with a good number of votes,” said Sunil Kinti Bose, chairman of Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission, over the phone from South Korea yesterday.

Md Sarwar Alam, secretary of BTRC, said 17 countries took part in the election to elect members of a 13-member union for this zone of the ITU. Bangladesh got 115 votes as 176 votes have been cast out of a total of 193 member country voters, he added. Two-time Deputy Secretary General Houlin Zhao of China has been elected the next ITU secretary general and Malcolm Johnson of the United Kingdom has been elected as deputy secretary general.

Source: The Daily Star

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