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Universal Postal Union holds extraordinary congress
The Universal Postal Union Second Extraordinary Congress at HQ of African Union

Universal Postal Union holds extraordinary congress

A high-level five-day Universal Postal Union’s Second Extraordinary congress concluded yesterday in the capital at the headquarters of the African Union.

With more than 600,000 postal offices worldwide and with a staff population of 5.3 million directly associated with it in more than 192 nations; the union proposed reforms that will help shape its future and also embrace the new digital world.

Member states held various discussions on proposals and accepted most, with the exception of a universal mandatory tracking system, which is the norm in the western world.

The tracking system that has helped drastically reduce theft of parcels in many nations is to be studied further and is to be discussed once again at its next congress in Ivory Coast in 2020. 

 “We have enjoyed an extremely productive week here in the beautiful city of Addis Ababa with many important decisions adopted,” UPU Director General, Bishar A. Hussein said in a statement. I welcome the close cooperation that I have seen throughout the Congress, and the consensus building spirit that has been forged over these last five days.”

At a speech in Nairobi, Kenya last year, the Director General highlighted the potential and challenges of the East African market. He saw the lack of adequate resources, not being able to fulfill some regulatory requirements and poor infrastructures as some of the serious challenges experienced by the union in the developing world. However, he also saw some potential in others, including the youthful and growing middle class communities.

“With a huge young population and a steadily growing middle class, the region holds the promise of success in the e-commerce business. There is where the Post’s opportunities lie,” he said.

The Universal Postal Union headquartered in the Swiss Capital of Berne was established in 1874 and is the second oldest international organization in the world.

“Digitalization is going on and the postal sector is a link,” the Deputy Director General, Clivaz Pascal said at the conclusion of the conference.