Universal Postal Union Second Extraordinary Congress opens with clarion call for spirit of consensus to drive world’s postal networks forward

03.09.2018 - UPU Director General pays warm tribute to Ethiopian hosts describing country as the mother of Africa.

At the official opening ceremony of the Second Extraordinary Congress of the Universal Union (UPU) in Addis Ababa today, UPU Director General Bishar A. Hussein stressed the need for compromise and consensus to safeguard the future of the international postal network. 

“I do hope and expect that the spirit of compromise and consensus building will prevail here at the Congress and enable us to achieve our objectives for the benefit of our Union," the UPU head said.

The high level Congress held at the African Union conference centre, the first UPU Congress of any type to be held in Africa, included a welcome speech from the President of Ethiopia Mulatu Teshome who described the Congress as, “One of the most important in UPU’s history and that can lay the foundation for a better future for the Post.” 

“We have always tried to meet the needs of people” added Kenan Bozgeyik, Chairman of the UPU Council of Administration, and Director General and Chairman of the Board of Turkish PTT Corp. His speech reflected the importance of cooperation and the need for the postal sector to implement e-commerce solutions in the market place.

In her own speech, the Ethiopian Minister of Communication and Information Technology Ubah Mohammed Hussien said the postal sector was going through changes and faced increasing calls for diversification and modernization and the need to meet customer expectations. 

Other dignitaries present at the opening included the UPU Deputy Director General Pascal Clivaz and senior representatives of the Ethiopian Postal Service. The speeches followed a lively and energetic cultural event involving dancers from the Hager Fikir Theatre, Africa’s oldest indigenous theatre. At one point delegates joined the  skillful dancers on the conference floor.

Mr. Hussein also used his opening speech to thank the Ethiopian government for generously hosting the Congress. He highlighted the fact that Ethiopia was presently celebrating its 110th Anniversary of being a UPU member and said, “Thank you for supporting UPU by facilitating this meeting to take place in the beautiful city of Addis Ababa.”

Over the next five days of the Congress participants will discuss UPU reform, including reform of the system applied to contributions by UPU member countries, as well as an integrated product plan and integrated remuneration plan for the international postal network. The reforms are designed to ensure that UPU is well positioned to help the postal sector in the years ahead.

On 6-7 September a Ministerial Strategy Conference will be held during the Extraordinary Congress. The Conference brings together ministers in charge of the postal sector, chiefs of regulatory authorities, heads of intergovernmental agencies and other high-level representatives of organizations to discuss the postal sector.

An Extraordinary Congress may be convened at the request, or with the consent of at least two thirds of the member countries of the UPU. The first Extraordinary Congress was held in Berne, Switzerland, from 2 to 5 July 1900, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the foundation of the organization.

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.

To watch the congress via live streaming, please go to: webtv.un.org 

For further information, please contact:

David Dadge

Manager, Communication and Events Programme

Universal Postal Union (UPU)

Executive Office Directorate

T + 251944325227


Press release


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  1. Dirk at 19.01.2016
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