UPU Director General Bishar A. Hussein exchanged the agreement with Japanese Ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein Etsuro Honda during the plenary session of the Postal Operations Council on 31 March.
Under the cooperation agreement, Japan will continue to support the UPU’s disaster risk management activities until 2021, including a voluntary contribution of 520,000 USD in 2017. A key focus of the extended agreement will be to design a technical assistance methodology to support developing countries.
Recalling the devastating earthquake that hit Japan in 2011, the ambassador reminded members of the fundamental role postal services can play in case of a national emergency, for example by distributing aid materials.
“Building a disaster-resistant postal network is extremely important for postal operators and users alike. And it is very significant for providing stable postal service on a global scale. I am honoured that Japan can contribute to such an important mission,” he said.
For his part, the UPU Director General thanked the Japanese government for its generosity: “Though we can’t stop the course of nature, we can do our best to ensure that we are as prepared as possible to withstand natural disasters, and help our countries recover. This agreement will help us do just that.”
The UPU’s disaster risk management activities have benefited significantly from the agreement, which saw Japan contribute a total of 1.4 million USD in the 2013–2016 cycle.
This support enabled the UPU to hold three regional capacity-building seminars – one each in Barbados, Chile and Thailand – and produce a disaster risk management guide for member countries in four official UN languages.Sustainable development