UN telecom agency names first Chinese leader

Updated: 2014-10-24 07:59

By Xinhua in Busan, South Korea(China Daily)

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Zhao Houlin is to become the first Chinese secretary-general of the International Telecommunication Union in its 150-year history.

The union is the United Nations agency that deals with information and communication technology.

Zhao, the current deputy secretary-general, was elected to head the organization for the next four years on Thursday at the organization's plenipotentiary conference in Busan, South Korea.

He won the backing of 152 member states, and will take office in January.

"As the newly elected secretary-general, I would like to assure you that I will do my best to fulfill the ITU's mission and, through our close cooperation, ensure the ITU delivers excellent services," said Zhao.

He said the rapid development of China's information and communication technology had provided a solid base for his election, and expressed gratitude for the support he received from the Chinese government and industry leaders.

UN telecom agency names first Chinese leader

Zhao is the third Chinese to be elected to head a UN organization. The others are Margaret Chan, director-general of the World Health Organization, and Li Yong, director-general of the Industrial Development Organization.

Zhao was born in 1950 in Jiangsu province and graduated from Nanjing University of Posts and Telecommunications. He gained a master's in telematics from the UK's University of Essex.

He served as director of the ITU's Telecommunication Standardization Bureau from 1999 to 2006, when he became deputy secretary-general. He was re-elected for a second four-year term in 2010.

The ITU's membership includes 193 member states, information and communications technology regulators, leading academic institutions and 700 private companies.

The plenipotentiary conference is the key event at which member states decide on the future role of the organization, determining its ability to influence the development of information worldwide.