2018 UPU Conference on Postal Regulation, October 2018

Speech by UPU Director General Bishar A. Hussein at the UPU Conference on Postal Regulation “Assuring data protection and privacy for the postal sector in a digital and interconnected world”, 23 October 2018.


Distinguished delegates, ladies and gentlemen.

It is my great pleasure to welcome you all to the UPU Conference on postal regulation.

This important event is organized during every session of the Council of Administration and with the full support and input of Committee 2.

The UPU provides the postal community with a unique platform to address all the strategic challenges our sector is facing, whether operational, commercial or regulatory.

At the Conference today, we gathered the postal stakeholders involved in designing, implementing and monitoring regulatory frameworks.

Distinguished delegates, ladies and gentlemen.

Data protection and privacy are crucially important.

Data protection authorities take an active role in ensuring that strong consumer protection structures are in place in the market.

As there have been many issues and challenges in data protection and privacy, new laws and regulations have been passed in order to cope with the new environment.

The European Commission has instituted the most important change in data privacy regulation in 20 years.

After several years of preparation and debates, the EU Parliament approved it on 14 April 2016.

It replaces the Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC and aims at harmonizing data privacy laws in Europe and reshaping the data privacy terrain.

The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has a profound effect not only on European states but also on any country encountering the EU citizens.

In this regard, our Conference provides an opportune moment to examine both present and future data protection issues.

The Conference will not only deal with the Regulation in Europe, but will also cover broad policy issues and trends on data protection and privacy all over the world.

Moreover, it will explore UN-wide common approaches and the impact on postal services, especially on e-commerce markets.

This is why, the topic of our Conference today is particularly timely and relevant, as it will address the nexus between data protection and privacy and e-commerce, examining both the impacts on the Regulation and the opportunities provided to sector players.

The European Commission, UN Global Pulse, La Poste Group, Consumers International, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications of Japan will present their perspectives on treaty-making approaches and developments of data protection and privacy on national and global levels.

In this sense, the Conference on postal regulation will address the challenges of data protection and privacy from the perspective of regional and global regulators and policymakers.

It will bring very active debates and discussions among the speakers and the audience focusing especially on the impacts on postal markets in the e-commerce booming economy.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

To sum up, I would like to thank the moderators, Mr Jack Hamande,  Mr. Joost Callaert and Mr Siva Somasundram, who will lead our discussion today.

I wish you an excellent conference and hand it over to Mr. Somasundram.

Thank you for your attention.