For 145 years, the Universal Postal Union (UPU) has been promoting solutions for the international postal sector. During this time, the postal network has transformed the entire supply chain: from acceptance, through sorting and finally to delivery, the Post has kept pace with change to provide solutions that work.
From manual to mechanized operation, the Post continues to innovate, using modern technology to optimize sorting and delivery and improve the supply chain from beginning to end. By embracing modern developments such as virtual reality, the Internet of Things, blockchain and robotic technologies, among others, the Post is today creating greater flexibility in customer service through the most advanced interfaces. We are now closer to our customers than ever before.
But above all this, the UPU's original philosophy – to serve humanity, and facilitate communication among the citizens of the world – remains the driving force of the global postal network. Every other advancement and innovation in the Post is geared towards supporting the very reason for our existence: changing people's lives for the better. Developing, developed and advanced networks continue to find synergy of purpose to power our single network to deliver efficiently and cost-effectively around the world. We continue to deliver as one.
At every stage of these unique developments, the UPU has offered its steadfast support. Our role is to coordinate, to build partnerships, and to offer solutions. There is, however, another way of viewing our invaluable work. By helping to deliver change, by always striving for innovation and creativity, we have been delivering development to successive generations. Today, the Post is a key component in helping to achieve the goals of the UN's 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in all countries and for the world's citizens.
In so many ways, delivering development is delivering progress. Some 1.5 billion people worldwide use financial services provided by Posts. This makes us the second largest contributor to financial inclusion in the world, and we continue to help lift people out of poverty. And the UPU delivers development in many other areas: in the fields of health, decent work, education, environment, and peace and justice, to name but a few. Every single day, Posts are working in partnership to improve our world.
On World Post Day, I extend my warmest thanks to all the world's citizens, and to governments, designated operators, the United Nations, civil society and many others who have made their contributions to ensure "One world. One postal network."
As we mark the 145 years of the UPU's existence today, it is worth reflecting on how much our organization has helped humanity. The best way to celebrate the past is to strive for a better future. We have been guided in this work by the need to help humanity overcome its challenges, so that we can secure the future that we all want for our planet. This is the best way to deliver development and progress to the world.