The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has been described as “The most important UN agency you have never heard of.” The ITU’s upcoming quadrennial Plenipotentiary Conference, to be held in Bucharest, Romania this September 26th through October 14th, will host the most important election you have never heard of. […]
Atop the agenda for Bucharest is the selection of a new ITU Secretary-General. The election — decided by votes of the member nations — is shaping up as a tussle between a candidate who is American and one who is Russian. The American, Doreen Bogdan-Martin, is a veteran of almost three decades of experience at the ITU, and the first woman to head one of the agency’s three major bureaus. The Russian candidate, Rashid Ismailov, is a former deputy minister in the Russian Ministry of Telecom and Mass Communications, and a former Huawei executive.
Lurking behind the scenes in this election is much more than simply who will occupy the Secretary-General’s spacious office in Geneva. It is a competition between two visions of the internet: an open internet, or a kind of state-controlled internet that resembles Russia’s and China’s. Läs artikel