On the morning of August 9, local time, the 27th Universal Postal Congress (also referred to as UPU Congress) started in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. The Congress will be held in an online and offline hybrid format. Roger Adom, Minister of Digital Economy, Telecommunications and Innovation, Souleymane Diakité Coty, Chairman of the 27th Universal Postal Congress, and Bishar A. Hussein, Director General of the Universal Postal Union (UPU) attended the opening ceremony and delivered speeches. Ma Junsheng, Director General of the State Post Bureau, heading the Chinese delegation, attended the online opening ceremony. The Chinese delegation is composed of delegates from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the State Post Bureau, China Post Group Co., Ltd., Hongkong Post Office, and Macao Post, Telegraph and Telephones Office. China’s ambassador to Côte d'Ivoire, Wan Li, attended the opening ceremony in person.
In his speech, Patrick Jérôme Achi extended a warm welcome to delegates from the UPU member countries. He pointed out that the Congress is the first global conference held by a sub-Saharan African country and the second Universal Postal Congress held on the African continent after the one held in Egypt in 1934. Therefore, it is of great strategic significance to Côte d’Ivoire and the whole Africa. At present, the postal industry has reached a critical moment when it needs to develop their business models, innovate and seek new highlights and sustainable development. The Congress will discuss digital postal services and other important issues, and formulate the Abidjan World Postal Strategy, which will have an important impact on the development of the Posts around the world from 2022 to 2025. The Congress also reflects the joint efforts of the Posts in fighting against the pandemic. As the host country, Côte d’Ivoire will make every effort to enable the success of the Congress. Finally, he expressed his best wishes to the delegates of all member countries in Abidjan.
According to Bishar A. Hussein, the road (of the UPU Congress) to Abidjan has been a long and winding one. It is a journey that went through many challenges. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a big impact on postal business, but the demand for postal services by people from all over the world has never been interrupted. At present, the global business environment is undergoing great changes, which in turn defines the future direction of the Posts. In developing the Abidjan World Postal Strategy, the UPU has taken into consideration the ever-changing global business environment, and will go all out to promote reforms and lay a solid foundation for the development of the Post in the future. In his speech, Bishar A. Hussein especially thanked China for its positive role in promoting the institutional reform and terminal dues reform of the UPU. In the end, he wished the 27th UPU Congress a great success.
At the opening ceremony, the official 27th Congress stamp was unveiled.
The 27th Universal Postal Congress will draw to an end on August 27. At the Congress, China will run for the membership of the new Council of Administration (CA) and Postal Operations Council (POC), as well as the chairman of the POC.
The Universal Postal Union is an international intergovernmental organization responsible for postal affairs within the United Nations system. With its 192 member countries, the UPU is an important platform for the governance of the world Post. The UPU Congress is held every 4 years and is the supreme authority of the Union. The Congress is mainly responsible for formulating world postal strategy for the next four years, electing the new director general and deputy director general of the International Bureau, deciding on the membership and chairmen of the UPU’s CA and POC. It will also decide on the reform plan for the UPU, the rates of international letter-post, parcel-post and EMS services in the next four years, and other major proposals, and revise the UPU regulations.