Re-election of UPU Director General, 26th Universal Postal Congress

Acceptance speech by UPU Director General Bishar A. Hussein, Istanbul, Turkey, 5 October 2016

Distinguished delegates and participants,

Dear friends, ladies and gentlemen,

I accept with humility, the trust you have bestowed upon me once again to lead the International Bureau of the Universal Postal Union for a second mandate. I feel greatly honoured by your confidence in me to continue leading your Union.

Four years ago to the week, when you elected me I made three pledges:

To implement all the Doha Congress resolutions, decisions and recommendations. As I reported in my remarks during the opening session, we have achieved 98% delivery of this. These achievements have been a result of teamwork from a dedicated IB staff as well as good support from member countries.  

I promised to streamline the IB and establish a truly professional international secretariat. We have made some remarkable progress on this with the review of IB rules and regulations that have introduced a performance-based management in the organization. We have also achieved greater geographical representation and gender balance within our workforce. We will continue to improve our capacity so as to be able to best serve Union. We have also enhanced our governance structure to allow for greater accountability and transparency in our management systems. We have delivered more with less and we will always respond to the needs of our member states to the best of our abilities and resources.

I pledged to develop a new vision, strategy and business plan that will take this Union and the industry to the future. I am glad this Congress has just approved an ambitious Istanbul World Postal Strategy and our business plan for the next four years and beyond.

Your Excellencies,

As I accept your new mandate today, I wish to make three more pledges, which I wish to champion during my second term:

  • To implement all the Istanbul Congress decisions, resolutions and recommendations
  • To develop a post-Istanbul World Postal Strategy
  • And to work towards the achievement of financial sustainability for the Union

You are all aware of the existential risks that this Union faces and that need to be addressed. Top on the list of these risks include funding and financial sustainability. We will work closely with members with a view to achieving a more sustainable way of funding the Union. To this end I will greatly count on members’ goodwill and positive response to achieve this. Above all, we will also be considering other measures that we can put in place to generate extra income beyond members’ contribution to fund our growing number of projects.

The role and relevance of the Union.

This is yet another area that poses risk for the Union. People, including member countries, must continue to see value in the work of the Union for them to keep supporting it. As part of the way to achieving this value proposition, we have embarked on initiatives that will help create more visibility for UPU to its stakeholders and the larger international community. The Ministerial Conference that we held yesterday and the inaugural UPU CEO Forum that was held last month are some of the platforms we wish to use to create this visibility. We would like to create more forums like these where we engage with a wide range of stakeholders. This will make them participate more in the affairs of the Union. Moreover, we will seek to engage more with CEOs of designated operators, regulators, policy makers and, indeed, our customers, and position the UPU as an organization that provides solutions to all.

Strengthening the weakest link

I will strive to work with governments and international organizations to help strengthen the universal postal network particularly in the developing countries. This will be achieved by attracting more funding that will help in building capacity and infrastructure to develop efficient and reliable postal business worldwide.

Improve the quality of postal products and services

I will work with member countries to help them develop new products and services that are relevant to today's demands by postal customers. We must continuously innovate and improve our products and services to remain competitive and relevant to the market.

Your Excellencies,

Dear friends, to achieve positive results on these pledges, I will greatly require your goodwill and support. I am encouraged by the fact that I can always count on you to continue shaping our Union so as to respond to the challenges of the world’s dynamic market. I believe together we shall prevail.

Thank you very much for your attention.