Key topics to be discussed at the 27th Universal Postal Congress

The 27th Universal Postal Congress in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, from 9 to 27 August 2021, will see the adoption of the Abidjan Postal Strategy and Business Plan, which will guide the postal sector throughout the 2022-2025 cycle.

The Abidjan Postal Strategy is UPU’s first data driven strategy. It aims to strengthen the UPU’s mandate enabling it to be a postal sector knowledge center. The strategy has a number of essential elements, including Postal Vision 2030. This will inspire the different categories of stakeholders to take action in their respective fields. Key areas include: governments closing gaps in postal development and promoting ways to utilize the postal network for socio-economic development; regulators harmonizing and enhancing the sector’s regulatory framework; operators enhancing their performance, and other stakeholders pursuing integration into the sector.

Siva Somasundram, Director of Policy, Regulation and Markets (DPRM) and the Congress Plenary Secretary, says, “Congress will also make critical decisions on what the next four years hold for the UPU’s mandated products and services, as well as associated remuneration systems, the UPU’s Development Cooperation Policy, and the Quality of Service Fund, among other things. It will also discuss changes to the contribution system underpinning the UPU’s operating budget and the issue of opening up of the UPU to wider postal industry players.”

With regards to products and services, Congress will discuss the UPU’s Integrated Product Plan to ensure it aligns with the marketplace, meets customer needs and complies with AED requirements. In terms of the Development Cooperation Policy, UPU activities have previously focused on designated operators’ operational needs, and not on logistical and structural issues, such as limited resources and technological gaps. The new cooperation policy for 2022-2025 sees a move toward a holistic strategy focused on postal sector development with larger-scale projects incorporated into national development policies triggering change at national and regional levels.
Meanwhile, Congress will also consider new rules for the UPU’s Quality of Service Fund, which will expand the scope of fundable projects and closely link them to sustainable development, and discuss the UPU Contribution System with the intention of developing clear and consistent contribution rules to stabilize the UPU budget.

“There will also be a whole range of other proposed changes to the UPU’s Acts in order to address issues that have been flagged over the past five years in terms of improving the regulatory and operational framework for postal services and postal financial services. As part of the proceedings, member countries will also elect the next UPU Director General and Deputy Director General and decide on the membership of the UPU’s Council of Administration and Postal Operations Council for the 2022-2025 period,” Somasundram adds.