The Universal Postal Union (UPU)

BACKGROUND: Every day, more than 1.2 billion letters are posted for delivery within national borders, accounting for more than 430 billion letters each year. In addition, each day, close to 20 million pieces of mail cross international boundaries, accounting for nearly 7.4 billion items posted in international service (over a third of them by developing countries) and are swiftly and safely delivered to their destinations. To handle this traffic, postal services employ more than 6 million employees who work at or out of some 700,000 permanent post office outlets around the globe. The orderly and economical movement of international mail is made possible by the Constitution and Convention of the Universal Postal Union, the basic Acts under which the UPU operates. Since 189 countries now come under these Acts, the provisions affect virtually the entire world population. Under the Constitution, UPU member countries form a single postal territory for the reciprocal exchange of letter-post items, and freedom of transit is guaranteed throughout the entire territory of the Union.


Annual Report of the Work of the Union . Résumé and general review of UPU activities.

Collection of Postal Studies . A series of publications concerning topics studied by the UPU.

Union Postale . Quarterly. Parallel text in the seven languages of the union—Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Russian, and Spanish. Contains articles on postal services and information on UPU activities.

The Universal Postal Union . (brochure) A brief outline of UPU features.

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