The United States won seats on two international postal councils at the Universal Postal Union Congress, which ran from Aug. 9-27.
The union, known as the UPU, is a specialized agency of the United Nations whose core mission is to facilitate the exchange of international mail among its 192 member countries.
Remuneration (international postal payments for services rendered), gender equity and greenhouse gas emissions were among the issues addressed in the more than 200 proposals before this year’s Congress, held in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.
The United States was elected to both the Council of Administration (CA), which supervises the union’s activities between sessions and studies regulatory, administrative and legal issues, and the Postal Operations Council (POC), which handles economic and operational issues.
“Our election to the POC and the CA ensures that the UPU will continue to benefit from the many resources, leadership and knowledge that the United States has long contributed to the UPU,” said Judy de Torok, the Postal Service’s corporate affairs vice president.
Additionally, the United States was designated a co-chair of Committee 1 of the POC. Committee 1 addresses supply chain issues such as customs and transport.
This year’s meeting boasted two firsts: the first regular session held in sub-Saharan Africa and the first to include both in-person and remote participation.
Masahiko Metoki of Japan and Marjan Osvald of Slovenia were elected director general and deputy general, respectively. Both will assume their posts in January.
The quadrennial congress will next meet in 2025 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. An “Extraordinary Congress” will be convened in 2023 to address some of the matters discussed at this year’s meeting, including opening the UPU to wider postal sector players.