24m | Alan Burkitt-Gray
Practically, all members of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) have voted for China Houlin Zhao to continue as the Secretary General for the second and final four years.
At the same ITU meeting in Dubai, members of the US elected Doreen Bogdan-Martin as Director of the ITU Telecommunications Development Office (BDT's French name).
This means that it will continue to influence the agency's policies and rules to promote telecommunications in developing countries. He is the first woman to take the lead in the ITU's 153 years, which is the United Nations.
Zhao gained 176 votes from the member states at a meeting that began last Monday and continues for another two weeks.
Bogdan-Martin was in competition with his choice, but comfortably won the 95-nation vote. Zimbabwe's Cosmas Zavazava received 66 votes and Nigeria William Ijeh received 16 votes.
Zhao, an IT and communications engineer who has completed various ITU leadership positions, will begin his second term on January 1, 2019. Its first term began in 2015 and has since campaigned for governments to support telecommunications industry.
"We're still connecting," he said. "We will strengthen partnerships to bring together the common vision of a connected world, where information and communication technology is a good source for everyone."
Zhao supported the election of Bogdán-Martin to the BDT and received support from the US government. He worked for 1993 at the US Department of Commerce when he was assigned to BDT at the first World Telecommunication Development Conference in 1994. During the past 25 years, he continued his work at the BDT in Geneva.
"I will ensure that BDT takes advantage of the public and private sector membership and a unique combination of its relationship with international organizations and institutions," he wrote in the candidate's statement.
"BDT will engage in a culture of cooperation, including external investors, operators, technology companies, development banks and expert bodies."
Zhao said that his priorities were called "Four Is" – infrastructure, investment, innovation and inclusion. "We need to upgrade the existing ICT infrastructure and extend it to reach those badly-connected or connected areas," he said. "We need to invest bigger investments both from the state and the private sector and create a good investment environment. We need both technology and business innovation. We should not leave anybody.