CA Plenary session, October 2018

Speech by UPU Director General Bishar A. Hussein at the UPU CA Plenary session, 25 October 2018.


Chairman of the CA, Mr Kenan Bozgeyik,

Vice-Chairmen of the CA,

The Deputy Director General, Mr. Pascal Clivaz,

Members of the CA,

Heads of Delegations,

Distinguished Delegates and observers,

Dear Colleagues,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Thank you, Chairman, for the opportunity to make some brief remarks at the start of this CA Plenary of the 2018 S4 session.

I welcome you all to the International Bureau and to this plenary meeting. I wish to thank the Chairmen of the various Committees and Taskforces who have been leading deliberations in the past three days with dedication, to successfully conclude their work and set the agenda for this Plenary.

Allow me also to congratulate facilitators and participants of the just-concluded Postal Forum on e-commerce, trade facility and economy that took place yesterday.

The Forum provided us with an opportunity to hear and share ideas on the prevailing trends and dynamics in the post.

Mr Chairman, ladies and gentlemen,

This is the first CA session since the Extraordinary Congress, which was an extremely productive week with many important decisions taken.

I would like to express my admiration and appreciation to the member countries that participated in Congress for the close cooperation, as well as the consensus building spirit that characterized the debates.

The positive results are because of the good preparations carried out by the councils and their subsidiary bodies. Within just two years from Istanbul, we were able to efficiently produce solid proposals for the Congress. Many thanks to all members and secretariat staff who led the various processes.

It is gratifying that after 40 years of discussions, we now have an agreement on reforming the UPU. This decision will increase our efficiency and streamline the coordination between the Postal Operations Council and the Council of Administration.

The reform will also simplify the election process, and ensure enhanced representation of all regions in the decision-making structures of the Union.

Ladies and gentlemen, even though this Congress has decided to carry over discussions on reforming the contribution system applied to member countries until 2020, significant strides were achieved in this discussion. We still have work to do to find solutions for a stable funding structure for Union. I am confident we shall have consensus on the matter before the next Congress.

On the stabilizing of the UPU Provident Scheme, the decision to reduce the guarantee threshold from 85 per cent to 80 per cent will cushion and help our negotiations with UNJSPF. More significantly, I welcome your decision to protect the acquired rights of existing beneficiaries of the pension fund.

The session on the IPP-IRP demonstrated that the willingness to compromise and build consensus was alive at the Congress by adopting the implementation roadmap for the IPP. As a result, the POC shall now integrate the changes in the market by modernizing the services, including developing proposals on the tracked service for submission to the 2020 Congress.  

On the IRP, we now have an opportunity to design a roadmap to achieving integration, rationalization, and modernization of the UPU remunerations system that will lead us to a sound proposal for the 2020 Congress on an Integrated Remuneration System.

In short, Mr. Chairman, I wish to state here that I was very satisfied with the results and the progress made at the Congress.

This CA session takes place just after this Extraordinary Congress. I would like to thank my IB colleagues who have worked tirelessly after the Congress to ensure that the work of the councils was prepared well for these S4 meetings.

During this week, various committees have led their work whose reports will be presented to this plenary.  The main decisions that the plenary will endorse are:

  • Implementation of the 2d Extraordinary Congress
  • Approval of the UPU 2017 financial statements
  • Approval of the 2019 budget
  • Approval of the mandates of the Taskforces on the reform of the system applied to contributions by Union member countries and on the Provident Scheme
  • Update to the Council of Administration working methodology and decision-making principles
  • The launch of the UPU’s strategy for the next cycle

Before I conclude my remarks Mr. Chairman, allow me to mention a matter that has currently caused a lot of publicity for the UPU. This is a matter that many members are also talking about, as it is unprecedented and sensitive.

Mr. Chairman, the notice by the United States of America to withdraw from the treaties of this Union came to us as a surprise and I have been engaging the US delegation over the matter. I have also written to the United States of America government to seek an audience with them and to further discuss the matter.

I am glad to inform you that, this week, members agreed on a proposal to adjust the timelines on the discussion on remuneration related subject with a view to coming up with a proposal to the Council by S5 session. The intention was to address this subject within the structures that had already been put in place.

We hope this will help mitigate the situation brought about by the United States of America and, hopefully, resolve the matter amicably.

I would urge the US, and all members, to exercise flexibility while discussing this matter.

With those remarks, Mr. Chairman, I wish you much success in the deliberations of the Plenary.

Thank you for your attention.