Commemoration of postal workers who died during COVID-19

Statement of the UPU Director General at the commemoration of postal workers who died during the COVID-19 pandemic

CEOs of postal operators,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

COVID-19 has tested us all.
Tested us as family members, as workers, as human beings.
Since March of this year, we have all lived under its shadow, as we have tried to continue with our work and lives.
At the Universal Postal Union, we did not allow the pandemic to stop us from carrying out our essential mandate of supporting the international postal network.
We may have been apart, we may have been working from home, but we have continued to offer our support and assistance to posts.
Our work has never stopped.
And we have seen how quickly the industry adjusted to meet the changing needs of consumers; many of whom were locked down, and locked out of shops and markets.
In many countries, postal workers were designated as essential, alongside health workers, sanitary workers, police and many others professions and roles.
Even during the most difficult times, postal workers continued to deliver mail. Continued to play their part.
We know this not just because we work at the Universal Postal Union, but also because we are consumers.
All of us appreciate the vital role played by posts in all our societies—delivering medicines, protective equipment, food and many other vital items and products.
Delivering the goods we all wanted and needed!
But a high price has been paid.
Postal workers have died around the world due to COVID-19. 
Today is the day—World Post Day--when we should commemorate their bravery and courageousness, and in doing so, recognize them for what they are: heroes.
I offer my sincere condolences to their families, friends and loved ones. 
Let me read out what is written on the plaque:
“In memory of all those postal workers who lost their lives while performing essential services in their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
We will never forget your bravery and courageousness.”
I am therefore proud on behalf of the Universal Postal Union to dedicate this plaque to postal workers, which will be set on the wall of the Heinrich von Stephen Hall.
Thank you.