Speech of Director General Masahiko Metoki at the Handover Ceremony of the Universal Postal Union

Berne, 5 January 2022, 11.00, Heinrich von Stephan Hall

Mr. Bishar Hussein,
Mr. Pascal Clivaz,
Mr. Isaac Gnamba-Yao, Chair of the Council of Administration,
Mr. Marjan Osvald, Deputy Director General of the UPU,
Excellences Ambassadors and representatives of the Diplomatic Corp,
Distinguished Guests,
A very Happy New Year to you all. I am proud to receive this key and to become the 17th Director General of the Universal Postal Union.
The key I am holding is a symbol of this organization’s rich history and its enduring ability over nearly 150 years to adapt and prosper. 
It is also an honour to receive the key from Mr Hussein, who over the last nine years has led this organization with distinction.
My warm gratitude also goes to Mr Clivaz.

Together you both have worked tirelessly on behalf of this organization, and in doing so, you have shown vision, leadership and commitment.
On behalf of everyone present today, I thank you both for your outstanding achievements.
I would also like to thank the ambassadors or permanent representatives of member countries present today.
Thank you for the trust you have placed in me. I shall never forget my duty to you all.
Allow me to also thank the government of the Swiss Confederation, the UPU’s host country, the local authorities and the mayor of Berne for the daily support and assistance provided to the UPU.   
Throughout my term, I will do everything possible to strengthen the ties that bind us closely together.

In addition, my thanks to the government of Japan for their faith in me, and their support.

Exellencies and distinguished guests,
I am today taking my oath in front of you, and before the wider UPU community who is watching this ceremony remotely on UPUTV.      
I do so with great pride and as an important public commitment to the duties and responsibilities of my office. 
“I solemnly swear to exercise in all loyalty, discretion and conscience the functions entrusted to me as an international civil servant of the Universal Postal Union, to discharge these functions and regulate my conduct with the interests of the Union only in view, and not to seek or accept instructions in regard to the performance of my duties from any government or other authority external to the Union.

I also solemnly declare and promise to respect the obligations incumbent upon me as set out in the Staff Regulations and Rules.”
Now that I have taken my oath, I want to reaffirm my commitment to using the director general's office to lead and oversee the successful implementation of the 2022-2025 Abidjan Postal strategy.
The strategy arose from an extensive and inclusive consultation process and our combined desire to create a roadmap for the organization until 2025.
It sets out a vision of the Post as an essential engine for sustainable development, and invites governments to do everything possible to reduce the gaps in postal development around the world.  
Together with the need to harmonize postal regulatory frameworks, those objectives form the crucial centre of our work over the next business cycle. 
As Director General, I pledge that I will work in all sincerity with member countries to make this strategy a success. 

I will also work closely with my Deputy Director General Marjan Osvald. He comes to his new position with a wealth of experience in the postal business. As a team, we will also strongly benefit from the support of the UPU directors and the UPU staff who are the women and men behind our organization.     
We will also work in partnership with the Chairs of our governing bodies: Mr. Isaac Gnamba-Yao of Ivory Coast and Chair of the Council of Administration, and Mr. Jean-Paul Forceville, of France Chair of the Postal Operations Council. 
I will also form strong working relations with the committees, including the Consultative Committee, as well as the task forces that will all play such an important role in achieving the Abidjan strategy.
As ever the restricted unions are an integral part of the UPU community, and I will continue to work closely with their leadership to build partnerships and further develop cooperation.   
Without the input and support from the restricted unions and the work undertaken in the regions, we have no hope of achieving the Abidjan strategy. 

I will also work with our many international partners, including across the programmes and organizations of the United Nations, and our private sector partners.
It is essential that the world achieves the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and I believe the UPU and the international postal sector have significant roles to play in their achievement.  
Excellencies and Distinguished Guests,
Although symbolic, this key has tremendous significance.
If we work in an effective and efficient manner, we can collectively unlock success for the entire postal industry.
This is why I took this position and this is why—together with you all—I believe we can use the platform of success created by our successive predecessors to create a bright future for the UPU and the postal sector.
Thank you.

[Check against delivery]