Award ceremony for 2IPD winners on the occasion of World Post Day

Statement of the Deputy Director General at the Award Ceremony for 2IPD, Berne, Switzerland, 9 October 2018

Your Excellencies,

Directors General,

Distinguished Guests,


Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am very glad that you could join us today to celebrate not just World Post Day, but also the winners of the Universal Postal Union’s ranking of the Integrated Index for Postal Development or “2IPD.” 

Before I delve into this morning’s programme, please allow me to say a few words about World Post Day, the postal sector and the UPU. 

This is a special day for us.

Like every year since 1969, 9 October is the day in which we celebrate the UPU’s creation in 1874, as the second oldest international organization, many decades before the birth of the League of Nations or the United Nations.

Like every year since 1969, 9 October is also the day in which Posts around the world organize festivities at post offices, mail centres and postal museums. 

This celebration is not only a way to pay tribute to a fantastic history. It is also an opportunity to acknowledge the continued relevance of the postal sector and the Universal Postal Union. 

True, the business of physical letters has been completely transformed by digitalization. Yet, Posts are more than a just providers of a single product or service; they play a role in the daily life of citizens, businesses and territories around the world.

Today, their portfolios expand well beyond mere delivery, encompassing a whole range of services, such as payments, e-government or merchandise handling and logistics. 

Indeed, with a global network of over 677,000 post offices, 5.3 million staff and physical network covering 192 countries, the postal sector is a key element of national and international infrastructure. It thus plays an important role in national development and in the attainment of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

As the only truly global intergovernmental organization in charge of Posts, the UPU is in a unique position to observe this.

As the prime global forum for the postal sector, it brings together high-level decision-makers, such as CEOs, ministers, chiefs of regulatory agencies and heads of UN organizations, to find multilateral solutions to global problems.

As a key provider of affordable technical solutions, such as standards and IT tools, the UPU also promotes development within and across nations.

As a knowledge center, the UPU also brings critical insights into the transformations that are affecting not only the postal sector, but also global supply chains, as we move into a world of international light logistics.

In the words of the Director General, Bishar Hussein, “the UPU is the glue that holds the postal sector together, enabling 192 networks to behave as one”.  

Ladies and Gentlemen, 

The Integrated Index for Postal Development or “2IPD” clearly shows the state of the sector in an age of digitalization and booming e-commerce. It also shows how the UPU is accompanying Posts in this new world.

Using Big Data, including over 5 billion records per year, postal statistics and key surveys, the 2018 ranking of the 2IPD has enabled the UPU to analyze the performance of 173 national postal across the world.

Switzerland, the Netherlands and Japan top the list. These countries owe their high scores to a consistently balanced performance across the four dimensions of the 2IPD: they have all managed to build reliable, well-connected, relevant and resilient postal services.

My sincere congratulations to these countries.  

It is important to note here that the situation of the top performers in the ranking does not necessarily reflect the global trend for the sector, which is being affected by growing gaps in postal development between and within regions. Moreover, comparable benchmarks tend to indicate that Posts are underperforming in comparison with other elements of national infrastructure. 

In spite of these challenges, within the various regions, some countries have achieved encouraging results, for example, Poland (ranked 6th worldwide), Singapore (ranked 7th), Nigeria (ranked 51st), Brazil (ranked 44th), and Tunisia (ranked 49th). These countries owe their ranks to very good performance compared to their regional peers in at least one dimension of the 2IPD.

My sincere congratulations to these regional leaders. 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Please join me in congratulating the winners of this year’s 2IPD awards.

I wish you all a fruitful World Post Day.

Thank you,