UPU celebrates 145 years of service to the world

09.10.2019 - 50th World Post Day kicks off with events celebrating the international postal network under the theme of “145 years delivering development.”

The Universal Postal Union (UPU) celebrated its 145th anniversary today with a series of events reinforcing it as the voice of the international postal network. During a high-profile breakfast held in the centre of Berne, Switzerland, members of the diplomatic community and representatives of Swiss institutions celebrated the formation of the Universal Postal Union.

Celebrations took place in the same room where the Treaty of Bern was signed by 22 founding countries in 1874. The treaty unified postal services, enabling international mail to be exchanged freely. By signing the treaty, countries agreed to the formation of an international organization called the General Postal Union. The name was later changed to the Universal Postal Union.

In a speech to guests representing many of the original founding countries, the UPU’s Deputy Director General, Pascal Clivaz, said, “Without the treaty [of Bern] and the 170 other members who followed, we would not have today’s postal network. A network spanning hundreds of thousands of post offices, employing millions of staff and delivering billions of letter mail.”

Mr Clivaz praised the multilateralism of the United Nations, which the UPU joined in 1948, and said his own organization’s work could not be possible without the support of every country. He added that the UPU was in service to those countries, and by extension, the people of the world.  

The 22 countries that originally signed the Treaty of Bern on 9 October, 1874, were Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the United States of America.

Since 1969, the world’s postal operators have celebrated World Post Day on 9 October. The theme of this year’s World Post Day was “145 years of delivering development”, underscoring the UPU’s work of enhancing not just sustainable postal development, but the contribution made by Posts to their countries’ economies.    

In a statement released for the day, the Director General of the UPU Bishar A. Hussein said, “On World Post Day, I extend my warmest thanks to all the world's citizens, and to governments, designated operators, the United Nations, civil society and many others who have made their contributions to ensure "One world. One postal network."   


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 further information, please contact:

David Dadge

Manager, Communication and Events Programme

Universal Postal Union (UPU)

Executive Office Directorate

T +41 31 350 31 23

E david.dadge@upu.int


Press release


Comments (1)

  1. Dirk at 19.01.2016
    Test comment.

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