Postal community share burdens to help small island states, progress made on pension fund

05.09.2018 - Member countries attending UPU’s Second Extraordinary Congress in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, have made several decisions regarding the international organization’s financing, including approval of a proposal to reduce financial strain on small island developing states (SIDS).

The proposal was meant to address the financial burden on these countries, whose state postal service budgets are too small to accommodate their annual UPU contributions. In one example given, the country had just one post office with three employees and their UPU contribution exceeded their total annual budget. 

UPU Director General Bishar A. Hussein had called upon member countries to consider the plight of SIDS in his remarks to the Extraordinary Congress’ opening plenary. 

“Even though all proposals are of utmost importance, I wish to declare here my heart and sympathy goes to the developing and less developed countries and small island states, many of which are not here with us today either because they are under sanctions or crippling debts which they cannot afford to pay,” said Mr. Hussein. 

The decision will have UPU apply a special contribution class allowing the countries with a population of less than 200,000 that are recognized by the UN as small island pacific states to pay only 0.1, or 10 per cent, of a regular UPU contribution unit.  

The decision was made during a plenary session dealing with the reform of UPU’s contribution system for member countries, with a view to adopting a new model that would address difficulties in the Union’s current funding mechanism. The Extraordinary Congress decided to carry that discussion over, instructing an ad hoc group and the UPU Council of Administration to further study the issue and bring a final proposal to the 2020 Congress. 

Progress on pension fund 

The Addis Ababa Extraordinary Congress was also tasked with agreeing a sustainable solution for UPU’s Provident Scheme, also known as the pension fund. 

A task force created by the 2016 Istanbul Congress found that funding for the pension fund had been insufficient for several years and that the current model would not provide a sufficient basis to pay out benefits to members in future.  

The Extraordinary Congress mandated UPU to negotiate the conditions of entry into the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund. Member countries also decided to extend the task force’s mandate to find other alleviating solutions to be discussed at the UPU Congress in Cote d’Ivoire in 2020.

Journalists unable to attend the Extraordinary Congress can view proceedings on UNTV (

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]

Press release


Comments (1)

  1. Dirk at 19.01.2016
    Test comment.

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