Extraordinary Congress ends on cooperation high note as eyes turn to 2020 Côte d’Ivoire Congress

07.09.2018 - Addis Ababa/Berne. Agreement reached on UPU reform; contributions for SIDS; the Integrated Product Plan as related to proposals from the POC and CA, with the exception of mandatory tracking; and a compromise agreement on the Integrated Remuneration Plan; but overall question of postal remuneration left until 2020 Congress

The Universal Postal Union’s Second Extraordinary Congress ended on a high note today by stressing cooperation and collaboration across the world’s postal sector.

UPU Director General Bishar A. Hussein said, “We have enjoyed an extremely productive week here in the beautiful city of Addis Ababa with many important decisions adopted. I welcome the close cooperation that I have seen throughout the Congress, and the consensus building spirit that has been forged over these last five days.”

During the Congress, member countries agreed a raft of far-reaching proposals underscoring the importance of the original decision made in Istanbul in 2016 to hold only the Second Extraordinary Congress in UPU’s 144-year history.

On UPU reform, countries agreed improvements enhancing UPU’s efficiency, as well as its role and relevance. Agreement on changes to election procedures at UPU’s operational body—the Postal Operations Council (POC)—will simplify the election process, and provide improved regional representation.

Concerning UPU contributions, member countries agreed on a landmark decision to reduce the contributions provided by Small Island Developing States (SIDS).

These countries are some of the most disadvantaged of all UPU member countries and have faced struggles to pay UPU contributions. Reform of the overall contribution system was carried over to the 2020 Congress. Agreement on the pension fund will also allow UPU to move to a more sustainable future.

Member countries adopted all proposals that came through the POC and Council of Administration (CA) on the Integrated Product Plan (IPP), which is designed to develop a fully integrated portfolio of physical postal products (letter post, parcel post and express mail service—EMS).

The sole exception was mandatory tracking. Congress, instead, decided to adopt an implementation roadmap for the IPP, and instructed the POC to keep pace with changes in the marketplace by modernizing services, including developing proposals on the tracked service for the 2020 Congress.

The Extraordinary Congress achieved a major success by approving, by consensus, a compromise proposal on the Integrated Remuneration Plan (IRP)—the IRP aims to modernize, rationalize and integrate the postal remuneration systems of member countries. 

On the topic of remuneration, which has been the subject of much discussion and debate in recent months, there was an agreement to use the IRP as a roadmap for a sound proposal on an Integrated Remuneration System to be presented at the 2020 Congress.

Reflecting on the conference, Mr. Hussein said, “Working together in the spirit of cooperation, [member countries] have helped to make this Congress a success, as well as a powerful voice for a truly inspirational industry.”

After the closing ceremony, the UPU Director General and the Minister of Digital Economy and Post for Côte d’Ivoire, Claude Isaac Dé, inked a joint declaration on the organization of the 27th Universal Postal Congress to be held in the country in 2020.

Earlier in the day, Dé had thanked member countries for their cooperation describing the international postal sector as “a big family.”

UPU’s 2018 Ministerial Strategy Conference wrapped earlier in the day with participants noting that the conference had provided a major opportunity to consider the best policies, investments, regulations, and partnerships to ensure that Posts can reach their full potential.

“We have spent the past few days discussing our challenges. But we also have an opportunity to chart the UPU’s roadmap, ” said UPU Deputy Director General Pascal Clivaz in closing remarks at the conference.

With a global network of over 600,000 post offices, 5.3 million staff and physical infrastructure covering 192 countries, the postal sector is a key contributor to national and international infrastructure and plays an important role in national development and in the attainment of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The Universal Postal Union is a UN specialized agency with its headquarters in the Swiss capital Berne. Established in 1874, it is one of the world’s oldest international organizations and is the primary forum for cooperation between postal sector players.


For media enquiries, please contact:

David Dadge

Manager, Communication and Events Programme

Universal Postal Union (UPU)

Executive Office Directorate

T: + 251944325227

E: david.dadge[at]upu.int

Press release


Comments (1)

  1. Dirk at 19.01.2016
    Test comment.

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