Making the UPU all inclusive

Speech by UPU Director General Bishar A. Hussein
Ceremony of transfer of powers - Berne, 9 January 2013

It is indeed an honour for me today to receive the keys to the International Bureau of the Universal Postal Union as its new director general.

I am particularly honoured to receive this legacy from Mr Edouard Dayan, who led this organization during the past eight years with devotion, vision and professionalism. Together with Mr Huang, the former deputy director general, to whom I would also like to pay tribute, they have ushered the Universal Postal Union into a new era. On behalf of everyone here today, I would like to congratulate them and thank them for the outstanding results they have achieved and the great leadership they have shown.

I would also like to thank all the member countries whose ambassadors or permanent representatives to the United Nations are here today. This organization belongs to you, and your presence here today is a sign of the trust you have placed in us. Allow me also to thank Switzerland, our host country, as well as the local authorities, represented by the mayor of Berne, for all the support they provide to the UPU. I look forward to strengthening our close and long-standing cooperation.

Finally, allow me to thank my own country, the Republic of Kenya, which provided me with the unique opportunity to stand in front of you as the UPU’s elected director general. Without the support at the highest level in Kenya, I would certainly not have been able to enjoy the trust of the UPU member countries to elect me in Doha to lead this organization.

The 25th Universal Postal Congress that took place in Doha three months ago was a great success. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Qatar for hosting the Congress and for making it a memorable event for the entire postal community. One of the most important decisions taken by the Congress was the adoption of the Doha Postal Strategy – our roadmap for the coming four years. It is based on a strong vision: that of a postal sector as an essential component of the global economy. As director general, it will be my duty and commitment to implement this strategy in an efficient manner, for the benefit of all member countries. I will undertake this important task with the support of a very competent and dedicated team at the International Bureau here in Berne. I have had the opportunity to work with many members of the UPU staff in my previous capacity as chairman of the Council of Administration, and I look forward to continuing that working relationship. Teamwork is an essential component for success, and in this regard I will also count on the active support and cooperation of the deputy director general, Mr Pascal Clivaz. I have known him for a number of years and am certain that his skills, experience and professionalism will be a great help to me in leading this Union. As part of the UPU team, I know that I can also count on the chairman of the Council of Administration, Mr Al-Aqaily from Qatar, as well as the chairman of the Postal Operations Council, Mr Metoki, from Japan. I must also mention the chairman of the Consultative Committee – a body which gathers all industry stakeholders, private operators, labour unions, and customers.

The restricted unions – some of which are represented here today – will continue to play an important role in the implementation of the mandate given to us by the member countries. I look forward to forging close cooperation with them.

The UPU works closely with many international partners – the United Nations organizations, programmes and funds, as well as other international organizations with which we share common interests. We will continue to strengthen our cooperation with all of them.

As the UPU director general, I am committed to ensuring the efficient management of the UPU resources in the most efficient and transparent manner. We will explore every opportunity to raise sufficient funds to carry out the most important and critical programmes and projects that will further the cause of the Union.

The universal nature of the UPU is something that I hold dear. I am the first director general coming from sub-Saharan Africa. I am fully aware of the expectations of developing countries, small island states and other countries that need the UPU to move forward and fully integrate into the postal community. As we focus on the major challenges facing the developing countries, we will not lose sight of the special needs of the industrialized countries, which are an important driving force for our organization. In order for us to develop a totally integrated global postal network, we must address the needs of all UPU member countries in an inclusive manner.

I thank you once again for being here today and I look forward to working with all of you.