Speech by Mr Bishar A. Hussein, UPU Director General, at the Ministerial Strategy Conference

06.09.2018 - Addis Ababa, Speech by Mr Bishar A. Hussein, UPU Director General, during the opening of the Ministerial Strategy Conference

Your Excellency Mrs. Ubah Mohammed Hussien, the Minister for Communication and Information Technology of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia

Your Excellencies Ministers responsible for postal affairs from UPU member countries,

Your Excellencies the Heads of International Organizations

Distinguished Ambassadors and Heads of Delegation,

Dear Delegates and Participants,

Ladies and gentlemen,

I have great pleasure to welcome you to the UPU Ministerial Strategy Conference 2018. We decided to organize this conference within the auspices of the 2nd Extraordinary Congress to enable Ministers maximize their time better in Addis Ababa. We believe it will be an enriching experience for all of us, and I thank you for your presence and participation.

In our presence we have more than 30 ministers and deputy ministers, heads and representatives of international organizations, ambassadors, and heads of delegation from UPU member countries.

Thank you for giving this Conference priority attendance.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The Conference of ministers is an important feature on the UPU calendar. The 2018 edition incorporates the Strategy Conference that is held every mid-cycle, and the Ministerial Conference that usually takes place at every Congress. Your discussion today and tomorrow will thus enrich process of crafting the postal vision for 2021 – 2024 cycle. As leaders of the postal sector, we look forward to your guidance, insights and your vision of the future of our industry.

Ladies and gentlemen,

In spite of the many challenges that face the postal sector, the industry still remains a formidable participant in the global economy.

-          The postal sector generates revenues of over 245 billion SDR annually

-          It delivers over 300 billion letters and 9 billion parcels per year

-          It has a network of over 677,000 post offices and 5.3 million staff

The adoption of new technology and changing consumer needs have, however, had a big impact on postal business. Innovation and rollout of new products and services have been key to finding new business opportunities for the post. This is more so because the traditional business of the Post is diminishing.

UPU has been providing different forums to find multilateral solutions to the new issues that have emerged within the postal business. Apart from the Ministerial Conferences that we have been holding at every Congress since Doha, in 2016 we introduced a forum for CEOs of Postal Organizations of our designated operators.

We have held three editions of this Forum with great success. Next year we will be introducing a similar event that will be focusing of Postal regulation.

The UPU has also been providing designated operators of member countries with affordable technical solutions to enhance their service delivery capacities. From IT systems to standards, to capacity building, the UPU supports every country, to be competitive and have capacity to improve their service delivery to citizens and customers.

Over the years, UPU has developed into a global knowledge center. With over five billion tracking records captured every year, the UPU holds a wealth of global data that is useful for insightful analysis. This data is available for use by members to inform their business planning.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The Istanbul World Postal Strategy that is guiding the 2017-2020 cycle aims to improve interoperability, postal products and market functioning, with a focus on e-commerce, financial services and operational efficiency.

The implementation of this strategy is well on track to being achieved. As we near the 2020 cycle, it is now time for us to reflect on lessons learnt and plan the way forward.

Ladies and gentlemen,

As Ministers responsible for the posts, your insights are crucial in determining which road the UPU should take.

Through four panels over the next two days, we look forward to hearing from each of you on how the postal sector can drive socio-economic development of your various nations.

The first panel will be about policies. Despite challenges, the sector contributes substantially to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. As the leaders of the post in your respective countries, we shall be looking forward to hearing from you the policies that you have put in place to help grow and sustain the sector, so that it can continue to have a positive impact to your economies.

The second panel is about investments. In the age of e-commerce, the postal sector is part of the solution. How can we then drive public investments towards the postal sector?

Most of your postal organizations are wholly owned by your governments. What investments are you considering for your postal organizations to enable them compete in the market that is increasingly becoming very competitive? Does the post enjoy priority in your national budget planning?

The third panel will cover the critical topic of regulation. With digitalization blurring the boundaries between sectors, how can governments and regulators strike a balance between regulation and innovation? The post of today is a business outfit that can engage in any profitable activity. Do our regulators recognize this fact and what are they doing to move with the dynamics of time?

The last panel will discuss partnerships. Which partners will the sector need and how can they work effectively together? This panel will look at other available models that can help the post attract more investment and business.

Participants at this Conference will be eagerly waiting to hear the responses to these questions and many others. With the high profile panelists as discussants of the various topics, I have no doubt all our questions will be adequately responded to.

Ladies and gentlemen,

My team from the International Bureau will be at your disposal to provide any assistance that can make your Conference more productive as you decide on the future direction of the postal sector.

I wish you fruitful deliberations.

Thank you 

Press release
 

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  1. Dirk at 19.01.2016
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