Press release: To celebrate the ILWC’s 50th anniversary, UPU to announce the “best of the best” from its winning letters

Berne. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the International Letter-Writing Competition (ILWC), the Universal Postal Union (UPU) will announce the “best of the best” letter from the long-running competition for young people.

The UPU staff will choose the letter with the winner announced on 8 October during World Post Day celebrations. This year’s theme for World Post Day is “Innovate to recover.”
UPU’s Programme Manager for Communications and Events David Dadge said, “In choosing the very best letter of the last 50 years, the UPU is celebrating a competition that has encouraged millions of young people to voice their thoughts and experiences, as well as literacy’s importance in all our lives.” 
He added, “I can think of no better way of honouring International Literacy Day, especially as the competition was created just two years after the introduction of this extraordinary UN day.”
Created at the Universal Postal Congress in Tokyo in 1969, the competition’s first winner was from Brazil. The annual competition now attracts more than 1.2 million global participants each year, and encourages young people aged between 9 and 15 to write letters on a given theme.
The UPU competition aims to raise young peoples’ awareness of the important role played by the postal sector in society and to promote literacy. In 2021, 14-year old Nubaysha Islam from Sylhet in Bangladesh won the gold medal with a heartfelt letter on the terrible impact of COVID-19 on people’s lives.
International Literacy Day 2021 examines how literacy can offer a platform for recovery by focusing on the digital ​literacy skills required by young people and adults. Literacy is an integral part of education and lifelong learning and appears as a crucial element of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development under Goal 4.

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
Communication and Events Manager,
Universal Postal Union (UPU)
Executive Office Directorate
Mobile Telephone: +41 76 457 36 54
Email: david.dadge[at]