Message from the UPU Director General

Welcome to the Second Extraordinary Congress

On behalf of the International Bureau and our gracious hosts, the Ethiopian Postal Service Enterprise and the Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, I warmly welcome you to Addis Ababa for the Universal Postal Union's Second Extraordinary Congress.

Congress is the highest decision-making body of the Universal Postal Union. This Addis Ababa Congress will be the second Extraordinary Congress in the UPU's 144 years of existence, with the first having been held in 1900 in Berne, Switzerland.

Congress brings together representatives of governments, designated operators, regulators and restricted unions – the UPU's core constituents – as well as heads of the United Nations and other intergovernmental organizations, and other interested parties, to discuss strategic postal issues and take decisions for the benefit of the industry and the Union. It is the biggest postal event in the world.

The Second Extraordinary Congress marks the end of a journey that began in Istanbul. Addis Ababa will be deliberating on important and urgent issues, on which decisions could not be taken at the 26th Congress in Istanbul.

Over the next five days, we will discuss the implementation of the UPU's Integrated Product Plan and Integrated Remuneration Plan, UPU reform, reform of the UPU's funding mechanism, and the UPU Provident Scheme.

On 6 and 7 September, the UPU will hold a Ministerial Strategy Conference to hear from ministers and understand how policies and regulations can inspire creativity and innovation in the postal sector.

In the context of the unprecedented challenges faced by the postal sector, and given the obvious need to modernize, diversify and better respond to customer needs, ministers will be expected to offer policy direction for regulatory frameworks, as well as advice on sustainable financing methods that would make Posts more competitive and profitable in the market.

Although five days is a relatively short period of time for Congress to meet, the agenda before members is substantial and addresses issues whose outcomes could have a big impact on the future of the Union. I am confident that members will make the best decisions in the interests of both the UPU and the postal sector.

The International Bureau, the Deputy Director General and myself will be on hand to assist with and facilitate your work in Addis Ababa.

Finally, I wish to thank all those who have already begun discussing the topics to be treated during this Congress. Their efforts will lighten our workload. I sincerely hope that the compromise and consensus you have shown during these preparatory discussions will continue here in Addis Ababa and produce positive results.

I wish you a successful and highly productive Congress.