8th International Postal Symposium

Speech by UPU Director General Bishar A. Hussein, Antalya, Turkey, 25 - 27 May 2015

I thank the government and the postal authorities of Turkey for organizing yet another postal symposium on a very pertinent theme.

During the recently concluded UPU World Strategy Conference held in Geneva, innovation, integration and inclusion were identified as the key pillars and upon which the future of UPU and the Posts will be built.

The theme of this conference — “Innovative Approach in the Postal Sector: Embracing the Future” — indeed echoes the Geneva Conference and underlines the pressing need for innovative changes in our sector. We cannot afford to continue with status quo. We must change.


Innovation is all about anticipation and adaptation to the changing global economic, political, technological, regulatory, demographics, business, and social environment. We must change the postal paradigms and grab the strong opportunities that are emerging all around us.

Posts must come up with innovative products and services that meet the needs of society and business. Unfortunately, the changes are quite rapid for our institutional responses. We must share experiences and best practices and be prepared to make radical changes at a very short notice. That is the new rule of the game in these fast changing times.


We must not forget that UPU is a global network. Hence individual posts or even regions cannot operate alone as islands. We must build an integrated network. Integration in all its many facets is the second pillar upon which the future success of UPU and the Posts rest. Effective integration of our international postal networks (postal supply chain) is critical.

I must emphasize here that the integration of the international postal network goes beyond national borders. This is the jurisdiction and mandate of the UPU to develop as it were the necessary rules, regulations, and treaties that govern and support the cross-border postal exchanges. This underlines the important role and relevance of the UPU to the 192 member countries.


Inclusivity and sustainable development are high on the agenda of the United Nations System today. The role of the postal sector as a driver of social, commercial, financial, and digital inclusion has been recognized in many international forums.

The vast UPU network must be harnessed to provide a wide range of services to billions of people who are struggling to lift themselves out of poverty and exclusivity. UPU is promoting trade facilitation and e-commerce to transform the lives of billions of people who otherwise are not currently served. Governments must take notice of the important role the Post can play in meeting their inclusive development goals.

The UPU has during this cycle dedicated a lot of time, effort and resources in developing a comprehensive e-commerce platform that will address all the major challenges facing postal organization in their cross-border businesses.

The UPU e-commerce programme or ECOMPRO, which was launched last year, will go into its trial phase in July. The programme encompasses all elements of e-commerce, from order to payment, to quality of service and delivery. ECOMPRO is designed to provide a tailored framework for the development of secured international e-commerce through the postal network. We are optimistic that ECOMPRO will facilitate the cross-border e-commerce business of the Post

Financial services are growing businesses in many postal organizations. The UPU global network has the capability to deliver the financial inclusion agenda of many governments and the United Nations.

The UPU will shortly set up two user groups, one dealing with postal remittances (Postransfer) and the other on clearing services. The Postal Operations Council has during the last April session approved the establishment of the groups. The groups will be formed once the Council of Administration gives their go-ahead in October. You are all invited to join the groups as soon as they are established.

UPU e-services are designed to help the Posts drive their digital inclusion agendas. Market information is necessary for Posts to plan and respond to the needs of their customers.

UPU has vast data and valuable information that is accessible to all. Our experts can provide you with all the necessary market trends, information and advice to help you make quick business decisions. We are always at your disposal.

UPU reform

All the efforts of change made at national Posts will be useless if UPU remains static, bureaucratic and slow in its decision-making organs.

We need profound transformation at UPU to achieve quicker and more efficient decision-making processes; we must transform our regulations and practices. We need to rethink our council structures and governing regulations. We need clear and adaptable mandates. We need to get this done before next congress. We need a UPU that is fit for purpose if we must embrace the future.

There is a genuine concern that our decision-making processes are slow to respond to the needs of the members. There is a consensus on the need for change. However, we will need our collective political will to effect the necessary changes.

The international bureau jointly with union councils will prepare proposals to the next congress for radical reform of our union. Your participation and support will be critical.

In conclusion, innovation, integration and inclusion for me are the main drivers that should shape our strategic framework for 2017 to 2020. We need to make the right choices, marshal courage and take political decisions that will transform/change both our national Posts and UPU.

My Vision 2020 is to help deliver:

  • A postal world driven by innovation.
  • A postal world fully integrated and efficient.
  • A postal world that is inclusive for all mankind.

Once again, my sincere appreciation and thanks to the Government and postal authorities of Turkey for their outstanding leadership in hosting this important conference and for the exceptional hospitality extended to me and all delegates.

Thank you for your attention.