The Universal Postal Union (UPU) - Structure



The permanent organs of the UPU are the Universal Postal Congress, the Council of Administration, the Postal Operations Council, and the International Bureau.

Universal Postal Congress

The Universal Postal Congress brings together the plenipotentiaries of all member countries and is the supreme authority of the Universal Postal Union. The congress meets in principle every five years. One of the major accomplishments of congresses held since the first Berne Congress in 1874 has been to allow UPU member countries to develop and integrate new products and services into the international postal network. In this way, such services as registered letters, postal money orders, international reply coupons, small packets, postal parcels, and expedited mail service, have been made available to the great majority of the world's citizens.

The congress' main function is legislative. However beginning in the late 1990s, the tendency was to increasingly delegate regulatory power to the two UPU councils, leaving the congress to focus on broad policy issues.

Members of the UPU
(as of June 2002)

Afghanistan
Albania
Algeria
Angola
Antigua and Barbuda
Argentina
Armenia
Australia and Australian territories
Austria
Azerbaijan
Bahamas
Bahrain
Bangladesh
Barbados
Belarus
Belgium
Belize
Benin
Bhutan
Bolivia
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Botswana
Brazil
Brunei Darussalam
Bulgaria
Burkina Faso
Burundi
Cambodia
Cameroon
Canada
Cape Verde
Central African Republic
Chad
Chile
China (including Hong Kong and Macao)
Colombia
Comoros
Congo
Congo, Democratic Republic of the
Costa Rica
Côte d'Ivoire
Croatia
Cuba
Cyprus
Czech Republic
Denmark (including Faroe Islands and Greenland)
Djibouti
Dominica
Dominican Republic
Ecuador
Egypt
El Salvador
Equatorial Guinea
Eritrea
Estonia
Ethiopia
Fiji
Finland
France and French overseas departments and territories
Gabon
Gambia
Georgia
Germany
Ghana
Greece
Grenada
Guatemala
Guinea
Guinea-Bissau
Guyana
Haiti
Honduras
Hungary
Iceland
India
Indonesia
Iran (Islamic Republic of)
Iraq
Ireland
Israel
Italy
Jamaica
Japan
Jordan
Kazakhstan
Kenya
Kiribati
Korea, Democratic People's Republic of
Korea, Republic of
Kuwait
Kyrgyzstan
Lao People's Democratic Republic
Latvia
Lebanon
Lesotho
Liberia
Libyan Jamahiriya
Liechtenstein
Lithuania
Luxembourg
Madagascar
Malawi
Malaysia
Maldives
Mali
Malta
Mauritania
Mauritius
Mexico
Moldova
Monaco
Mongolia
Morocco
Mozambique
Myanmar
Namibia
Nauru
Nepal
Netherlands
Netherlands Antilles and Aruba
New Zealand and New Zealand territories
Nicaragua
Niger
Nigeria
Norway
Oman
Pakistan
Panama
Papua New Guinea
Paraguay
Peru
Philippines
Poland
Portugal
Qatar
Romania
Russian Federation
Rwanda
St. Kitts and Nevis
St. Lucia
St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Samoa
San Marino
São Tomé and Príncipe
Saudi Arabia
Senegal
Seychelles
Sierra Leone
Singapore
Slovakia
Slovenia
Solomon Islands
Somalia
South Africa
Spain
Sri Lanka
Sudan
Suriname
Swaziland
Sweden
Switzerland
Syrian Arab Republic
Tajikistan
Tanzania, United Republic of
Thailand
The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
Togo
Tonga
Trinidad and Tobago
Tunisia
Turkey
Turkmenistan
Tuvalu
Uganda
Ukraine
United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom
United Kingdom overseas territories
United States
United States territories
Uruguay
Uzbekistan
Vanuatu
Vatican
Venezuela
Vietnam
Yemen
Yugoslavia
Zambia
Zimbabwe

Independent countries whose situation with regard to the UPU has not yet been settled: Andorra, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), Palau. As of June 2002, East Timor was applying for membership in the UPU.

Council of Administration

The Council of Administration (CA), formerly called the Executive Council, consists of a chairman and 40 member countries and meets in principle each year at UPU headquarters in Berne. (The chairmanship of the Council of Administration is given automatically to the host country of the preceding Congress.) It ensures the continuity of the union's work between congresses, supervises union activities, and studies regulatory, administrative, legislative and legal issues of interest to the UPU. In order to ensure the agency's ability to react quickly to changes in the postal environment, the CA has been given the power to approve proposals from the Postal Operations Council for the adoption of regulations or new procedures until the next congress has decided on the matter. The CA can also take measures necessary to resolve urgent matters. The CA approves the annual budget and accounts of the UPU, as well as yearly updates of the UPU's Programme and Budget. It is also responsible for promoting and coordinating all aspects of technical assistance among member countries.

Postal Operations Council

The Postal Operations Council (POC), formerly called the Consultative Council for Postal Studies, is the technical and operational body of the UPU and consists of 40 elected member countries. It deals with the operational, economic, and commercial aspects of international postal services. At its first meeting after each Congress, the POC revises the regulations. It promotes the introduction of new postal products by collecting, analyzing, and making public the results of experiments with new products undertaken by some postal services. It also prepares and issues recommendations to member countries concerning standards for technological, operational, or other processes where uniformity of practice is essential. The POC's program focuses on helping postal services to modernize and upgrade their products, including not only letter post but also expedited mail service, postal parcels, and postal financial services.

The chairmanship of the Postal Operations Council for the period between congresses is decided through election by the council.

International Bureau

The International Bureau, established by the Treaty of Berne in 1874, is located in Berne and provides secretariat and support facilities for the UPU's bodies. It serves as liaison, provides information and consultation services, and promotes technical cooperation among UPU members. It also acts as a clearing house for the settlement of accounts between postal administrations for inter-administration charges related to the exchange of postal items and international reply coupons.

The International Bureau is responsible for ensuring the representation of the UPU in its external relations, notably with international organizations. However, it does not intervene in relations between postal administrations and their customers.

In the new UPU structure approved by the Seoul Congress (1994), the International Bureau took on a stronger leadership role in certain activities, including the application of Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) technology and monitoring the quality of postal service on a global scale. To carry out its activities, the International Bureau implemented modern management techniques including total quality management, a strategic planning process, and a performance evaluation system based on individual objectives.

User Contributions:

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