Switzerland's seats on UPU governing bodies confirmed

Africa Link Special Reports

 The Universal Postal Congress has re-elected Switzerland to the Council of Administration and the Postal Operations Council of the Universal Postal Union. Delegates confirmed their confidence in Switzerland in the elections at the 27th World Postal Congress in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. The Universal Postal Union will be headed by Masahiko Metoki from Japan beginning from 2022.

Switzerland was re-elected as a member of the UPU Council of Administration for the 2022-2025 cycle. It has held a seat on this body since the 2016 Congress in Istanbul. The Council ensures a continuity of work between congresses, oversees the Union's activities and deals with regulatory, administrative, legislative and legal issues.

Switzerland's seat on the Postal Operations Council was also confirmed for the same period. This body focuses on instruments that help postal operators to modernise and improve their products and services. It discusses the operational, economic and commercial aspects of postal activities. From 2022, the Postal Operations Council will increase from 40 to 48 members.

New Director General elected

The International Bureau of the Universal Postal Union will be headed by Masahiko Metoki who will take office on 1 January 2022. He was preferred over Pascal Clivaz, the Swiss candidate. The current Director General, Bishar A. Hussein, was unable to stand for re-election as he had served the maximum two terms.

The Congress has also adopted a new four-year strategy, decided on a new membership fee system and defined measures for the long-term restructuring of the pension fund.

The Universal Postal Union and its Congress

The Congress is the supreme body of the Universal Postal Union. It meets every four years, appoints the governing bodies and sets the strategic priorities. The 27th World Postal Congress is taking place from 9-27 August in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. Due to the pandemic, the congress has been postponed by one year and is being held in a hybrid format for the first time. 

The Universal Postal Union (UPU), a specialised agency of the United Nations founded in 1874 and based in Bern, ensures the functioning of a comprehensive postal network at physical, financial and electronic levels through measures such as laying down rules for international postal traffic and making recommendations for the modernisation of products and services. Since 2012, the Federal Office of Communications has represented Switzerland's interests in the UPU.