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Former Veon executive is ITU deputy secretary-general

Tomas Lamanauskas ITU.jpg

Former Veon executive is ITU deputy secretary-general

A former Veon executive, Tomas Lamanauskas, has been elected deputy secretary-general of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

Lamanauskas (pictured) was Veon’s group director of public policy for more than three years from January 2016.

He thus beats Rashid Ismailov, former president of VimpelCom, the Russian arm of Veon, who lost last week’s vote for the top position, secretary-general, by 139 votes to 25. An American, Doreen Bogdan-Martin, won that election.

This week Lamanauskas of Lithuania received 105 votes in the election for the role of deputy secretary-general. Chaesub Lee of South Korea received 59 votes and Gisa Fuatai Purcell of Samoa received just 12.

Lee was previously director of the ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (TSB), but the national representatives at the ITU’s giant plenary meeting in Bucharest – which is still going on, until 14 October – elected another head of the TSB. Seizo Onoe of Japan got 93 votes, just ahead of the required majority of 90. Bilel Jamoussi of Tunisia received 65 votes and Thomas Zielke of Germany 21. Onoe has been executive VP and chief standardization strategy officer at NTT.

The new head of the Telecommunication Development Bureau, also elected at the Bucharest mega-meeting, is Cosmas Zavazava of Zimbabwe, who won 101 votes and beat Stephen Bereaux of the Bahamas, with 63.

Zavazava has been at the ITU in Geneva for 21 years, having previously been responsible for spectrum, public sector projects and policy issue at Zimbabwe’s regulatory agency and then a diplomatic representative in Geneva to the United Nations. The ITU is a UN agency.

Mario Maniewicz was re-elected to lead the Radiocommunication Bureau with no opposition.

All the newcomers to the office, including secretary-general, deputy secretary-general and the two new directors, take office in January.

Meanwhile, in the UK, prime minister Liz Truss’s beleaguered government was congratulating itself that it has won a seat on the ITU governing council – one of eight seats representing western Europe among the total of a total of 48. There are 193 member states of the UN, so almost 25% have seats on the council.