The UPU became a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) on 1 July 1948. As such, the UPU contributes to the development of UN policies and activities that have a direct link with its mandate and missions to promote social and economic development.
The UPU initiates many joint activities with other UN specialized agencies, funds and programmes. The UPU's director general is part of the Chief Executives Board, which coordinates UN system activities. This Board is chaired by the United Nations secretary general.
The UPU works in partnership with many UN organizations on a variety of concrete projects. These organizations include the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the World Trade Organization (WTO).
The UPU also maintains relations with other non-UN organizations such as the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), the International Organization for Migration and the World Customs Organization (WCO).