UPU holds first-ever postal forum for SIDS

The Universal Postal Union (UPU) Рthe United Nations specialized agency for international postal cooperation Рopened its inaugural postal development forum for small island developing states (SIDS) in Mah̩, Seychelles, today.

The SIDS Postal Leaders Forum, hosted in partnership with the Seychelles Postal Service, represents the first time that heads of posts and other high-level postal representatives will gather at once. Representatives of 28 of the 39 UPU member countries classified as SIDS are expected to participate.
“Let us use this opportunity to build relationships and partnerships that will unlock appropriate investments in the postal network to benefit businesses and communities. I believe, this is key, given the central role that the Post can play in economic and social inclusion,” said UPU Deputy Director General Marjan Osvald in his opening remarks to the Forum.
“It is indeed critical for us to seize the opportunities presented by ICT and to help our small posts become drivers behind the creation of an inclusive digital economy locally and globally,” said Seychelles' Minister of Finance, National Planning and Trade, Naadir Hassan.
Driving home the essential nature of postal services, Seychelles Postal Services CEO Mariella Buisson highlighted, “SIDS Posts play a vital role in connecting communities, facilitating trade, and enhancing communication within their respective unique island nations. They also offer retail, banking, philatelic and government services.”
UPU research has shown that a highly developed postal network can support a country’s socioeconomic wellbeing, finding strong links between a country’s postal development and its post-pandemic recovery. Furthermore, the latest UPU State of the Postal Sector Report found that, without postal services, a country’s GDP would fall by nearly 7 percent.
However, the same research shows that SIDS, on average, score in the lower tiers of postal development compared to other UPU-defined regions. This underscores the importance of targeted support to enhance postal infrastructure and services in these regions so they can leverage their networks for broader national development, economic resilience, and integration on a global scale.
Through presentations and round-table discussions between postal leaders, UPU experts, airlines and wider postal sector partners, the forum seeks to address the unique challenges facing the development of postal networks in SIDS, such as human and financial resources capacity and, importantly, the digital divide. They will also discuss potential solutions – including partnerships, knowledge sharing, technical assistance and postal reform measures – that could be used to tackle these challenges and maximize posts’ contribution to the socioeconomic development of their countries.
The forum will continue through 7 March. For more information on the programme and live streaming, please visit: https://www.upu.int/en/events/sids-postal-leaders-forum-2024
Learn more about postal development in the UPU’s 2023 State of the Postal Sector Report: https://www.upu.int/en/publications/2ipd/state-of-the-postal-sector-2023
About the Universal Postal Union (UPU)
The Universal Postal Union is a United Nations specialized agency with its headquarters in the Swiss capital, Berne. Founded in 1874 and celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2024, it is the primary forum for cooperation between postal sector players and helps to ensure a truly universal network of modern postal products and services.
For media inquiries, please contact:
Kayla Redstone
Lead Expert, Communication & Outreach Programme
Universal Postal Union (UPU)
Mobile: +41 76 457 36 54
E-mail: kayla.redstone@upu.int